$1.9 million spent on Brac recovery

The Cayman Islands National Recovery Fund says
it has spent almost $2 million rebuilding homes in Cayman Brac following Hurricane
Paloma.

Finley Josephs, the executive director of the
Fund, which is being wound down, said 70 projects had been completed, with five
houses being completely rebuilt at a cost of $350,000, and 10 others receiving
materials, which they installed themselves, costing $15,000.

He said eight projects are in the construction
phase.

“In addition, 70 projects have been identified
to receive hurricane shutters and this projects is progressing with currently a
third  of those project having received
their allotment of shutters,” Mr. Josephs said.

He added that all works are estimated to be completed
by the end of March this year.

Among the contractors used by the NRF were Abcon
Construction, Well Done Construction, and Summit Construction.

Dawn Foster of Summit Construction said her company
had worked on several projects and was about to begin building one new home
which was being funded by the NRF.

One recipient of the funds to repair his home
was William Christian. His niece Starrie Scott described the work done on her uncle’s
house which was badly damaged in Paloma.

“All the ceiling was down, with all its
sheetrock. It was a complete mess. One of the doors was destroyed. The Recovery
Fund replaced all that.

“It was four to five months before he could move
back in,” she said.

Mr. Christian, a 93-year-old retired sea
captain, remained in his house in The Bight throughout the storm.

“He was hit by sheet rock from the roof during
the storm and he hurt his head and shoulder. He managed to ride out the storm
in the bathroom of the house,” said Ms Scott.

Mr. Christian also stayed in his home, another
building, during the catastrophic 1932 storm that wreaked havoc on Cayman Brac.

“He wouldn’t leave. He said he’d weathered the
1932 storm and he could take this one,” his niece said.

Even after his house was partially destroyed in
November last year, Mr. Christian wanted to stay in the house, but was
persuaded to leave and stay with family while the repairs were being carried
out.

Ms Scott’s own home was also destroyed in the
storm. Her shop, NIM Things, and its workshop were also badly damaged. She said
the NRF had paid for repairs to the wash house of the workshop.

 Jan
Scott’s house was also badly damaged in Paloma, and repaired with funds from
the NRF.

In her home was her 74-year-old mother, her boyfriend
and her young son.

She described how the electricity went out about
5am. Soon, her house began leaking and the pressure inside built up to the
point where they could no longer stay in the house.

“My mother is 74 years old, and we walked about
two and a half blocks to get to the house of another friend. My mother went
down but miraculously straightened up as we walked there. We went to my
boyfriend’s aunt’s house and stayed until the hurricane calmed down,” Ms Scott
said.

“Thank God, we came through it. I want to thank
the National Recovery Fund people. They helped me a lot,” she said.