2007 top stories: Hurricane Dean had repercussions

Tropical Depression 4 turned into Tropical Storm Dean on Tuesday, 14 August and generated front page news for the rest of the month.

Savannah-Newlands

Hurricane Dean caused flooding in the Savannah-Newlands area.

Dean’s path was unsure for the first few days, but the National Hurricane Committee began issuing advisories on Thursday evening, the 16th. and emergency services began preparations. The weekend brought a Hurricane Warning and Cayman Airways flew 5,300 passengers off-island as Dean eyed Cayman, coming its closest on Monday morning, the 21st.

A curfew, imposed at 10pm on Sunday was lifted at 2pm on Monday, with police expressing disappointment at the number of violators. They were mostly sight-seers, but were putting their lives at risk, Commissioner Stuart Kernohan said.

Some areas of Grand Cayman lost electricity, but CUC had power back up by 10.15pm on Monday. Cayman Brac retained power, but there was none on Little Cayman because of a mandatory evacuation involving about 150 people.

Initial reports were of some damage to coastal properties, debris on roads and road erosion in South Sound. There was also flooding in the Savannah-Newlands area. The tourism sector sustained little or no damage and the Sister Islands reported damage as minimal.

Two days later, however, high tide washed seaweed across hundreds of yards of Seven Mile Beach.

Later, Mr. Kernohan reported 11 burglaries between 18-22 August, when the community should have been pulling together.

A condo owner shared his technique for a barrier system that saved a seaside complex from Dean’s wave action and airport authorities blamed a programming issue for shutting down the air-conditioning system for four hours when evacuees were waiting in line.

Near the end of the month, some of Grand Cayman’s farmers were reporting crop losses of 80 -85 per cent after Dean’s winds ripped fruit from trees. Salt spray hurt other crops and landscaping because only .44 of an inch fell during the 18 hours Dean was closest to Cayman; lack of rain afterwards meant leaves did not get washed off.

Discussions began about making shutter installation mandatory for all businesses, homes and apartment and some building contractors were criticised for failing to secure their work sites.

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