50 years ago: Hurricane Beulah to pass south of Cayman

In the Sept. 13, 1967 edition of the Caymanian Weekly, a precursor of the Cayman Compass, as residents of the Cayman Islands anxiously eyed Hurricane Beulah, the following article titled “Storm Heads West” appeared on the front page:

“Hurricane Beulah is likely to change her direction to WNW or NW at about noon today (Wednesday) and, if so, she will head straight for Grand Cayman. If she continues her present course, she will pass 240 miles south of Grand Cayman.

“At noon on Tuesday, Beulah was classified as a minimal hurricane, having decreased in intensity with maximum winds of 70 mph. Her position was … 80 miles ESE of Kingston, Jamaica, moving in a westerly course at 10 mph. The centre was expected to reach the southeastern part of the island by early afternoon. Gale force winds and heavy rainfall were anticipated.

“Having crossed over the Lesser Antilles in its formative stage, the force of the storm was badly felt on the SW portion of Puerto Rico and Mona Island. She then swept fiercely over the whole south coast of the Dominican Republic and Haiti before heading for Jamaica.

“Beulah, the second tropical storm of the present season, developed on Sept. 6 in the vicinity of Barbados from an active easterly wave proceeding from the Eastern Atlantic which had been under surveillance since Sept. 4.

“During the first stage of its life, Tropical Storm Beulah crossed over St. Lucia, affecting this and the adjoining islands of Dominica, Martinique, Guadeloupe, St. Vincent and other smaller islands with winds between 50 and 60 miles per hour, accompanied by a great activity of thundershowers which caused floods and a lot of damage on those islands mentioned, together with the loss of several lives.

“Beulah reached full hurricane strength on Sept. 8 heading slowly but persistently toward the eastern portion of the Dominican Republic. By Sept. 9, Beulah was a well developed hurricane with winds of about 120 miles per hour over a radius of 25 miles from the centre.

“During Sept. 10, this hurricane intensified even more, reaching the highest wind velocities of about 140 miles per hour, with gale force winds extending outward about 125 miles in all quadrants.

The southwestern portion of Puerto Rico and Mona Island were affected on this day by winds between 75 and 80 miles per hour, torrential rains and high swells …

“The centre of the hurricane did not hit Hispaniola as expected and moved along the south coast of the Dominican Republic, crossing the centre of the storm precisely over the small Beata Island and southern tip of Barahona Peninsula, just where last year’s destructive hurricane Inez struck on Sept. 29.”

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