Today’s Editorial for August 28: Keep Little Cayman shelter open


The word itself means ‘staff of the gods.’

Right now it’s a storm churning out in the Caribbean.

As of this writing it was threatening the Cayman Islands with the Sister Islands expected to get the worst of the storm.

Many of us watched Wednesday as Tropical Storm Gustav lollygagged off the coast of Haiti trying to determine whether it would re-strengthen to a Category 1 hurricane or just go away.

At press time the Cayman Islands is still under a Hurricane Watch.

Preparation activity was stepped up on all three islands Wednesday and we expect things to get a bit hectic on Grand Cayman today.

The Sister Islands have already prepared for the arrival of Hurricane Gustav, no matter what its intensity, and all visitors have vacated Little Cayman.

It will be up to Governor Stuart Jack to determine whether there is a mandatory evacuation of Little Cayman to Cayman Brac.

We hope he’s learned from the fiasco that occurred last August when Hurricane Dean threatened the Sisters.

The evacuation of the smallest of the Cayman Islands was ordered. Many, but not all, people left, including the people who man the Public Works Department building, which serves as LC’s shelter.

When the workers left the building was locked and power turned off.

The 46 people who refused to leave their home island were made to sign a waiver relinquishing Government from any responsibility should they mortally suffer in the ensuing storm.

If an evacuation of Little Cayman is ordered this time we would hope that the safest place for that Island’s residents to ride out the storm – the Public Works Department building – would remain unlocked and fully powered.

In addition to a lack of shelter, the 46 also had telephone, power and Internet services cut, so there was no way to communicate with the world outside Little Cayman.

The debacle of Little Cayman and Dean left residents there questioning if they are considered bad stepchildren of the Cayman Islands.

They certainly are not and shouldn’t be treated so.

We hope Dean taught those in charge of Little Cayman during a storm a lesson. There will always be some people who want to remain on their home island during a storm.

At least provide them with adequate shelter, power and communication.