Storm leaves public beach mess

Tour company and hotel employees worked late into the night Wednesday trying to clean hundreds of yards of seaweed which the tide left stacked two and three feet deep along Public Beach in the aftermath of Hurricane Dean.

Wednesday evening, the weeds stretched about a quarter of a mile along what is one of the heaviest-travelled and most popular tourist spots on Grand Cayman. A bulldozer was brought in to help plough the mess.

The day before, tour company employees said the beach did not look that way.

‘We’d cleaned the majority of it up because it was just like a big line of it on the surface,’ said tour company employee Steve Harris. ‘And then just overnight the high tide…started coming in and now we’ve got layers of it.’

Mr. Harris said the company planned to bring a group of cruise ship tourists to Public Beach on Thursday, and doubted the area would be cleaned up by then.

In the immediate aftermath of Monday’s storm, water and sand washed across the section of West Bay Road near the beach, forcing public works crews to temporarily close the street.

Later that day, tour company manager Tracey Corinna said there was no indication such a huge mess would be left on the beach area.

‘It was beautiful because it was white (sand) and we gained a lot of beach, and now we’ve lost it because the seaweed is taking up everything,’ Ms Corinna said.

Ms Corinna said flooding along Public Beach during Hurricane Ivan was much more severe, but it didn’t leave as much seaweed deposited on the beach because the tide pushed it further onto land.

Dozens of trash bags were stacked up on the side of the road near the beach Wednesday evening. Volunteers involved in the clean-up said the seaweed would be taken to the George Town landfill.

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