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Lisa's Box of Treasures Our jewel at VisitAruba.com - Lisa has many gems to share with you. She has a wealth of information about Aruba - and if she doesn't know, she will find out! :) So, enjoy and ask away!

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Old Friday, July 20th, 2007, 10:54 AM
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LocaLisa LocaLisa is offline
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Default Hurricane Season

Aruba along with her sister islands Bonaire and Curacao are situated in an area of the Caribbean where hurricanes are very uncommon. There was a cycle in about every century the islands were whipped severely by a hurricane. The years were 1605, 1784, 1877, 1955 (Janet) and 2005(Ivan). However, the last two were a lot less severe as the others before, we were missed by only the tail and small portion of the coast was changed dramatically.

In 1955, the eye of hurricane Janet missed Aruba by a couple of miles and then brought rainfall, hard wind and harsh waves battering the coasts. On the following day a small island appeared in the water near the coast, it was named Janet. Today the island is not visible anymore.

In 2004, the eye of Hurricane Ivan missed Aruba by a couple of miles and same as Janet the tail brought hard pouring rain with thunder, hard wind and harsh waves molding the eastern coast. Ivan changed dramatically the form of Baby Beach moving a big mass of corals from northeast to west, and brought some flooding mainly near the coastlines northwest and west side of the island.

As small as the chance is to get an Ivan again, we have to be prepared whenever a new hurricane watch is announced. The chance of getting false alarms is greater.



In 1996 in August, I was at work when the radio broadcasted that the ABC Islands had a hurricane watch and that it is very likely to turn into a hurricane warning, because of the path it has taken. It was coming our way so our bosses at that time give all the employees the afternoon off to prepare themselves. The male workers helped to remove canopies and cover the windows and the front entrance with sheets of wood. Some smaller windows were marked with masking tape in an x-form. When I arrived at home I saw the windows covered with tape, and 3 big barrels filled with water, my mom and siblings were listening to the radio and my dad was coming home with extra batteries and candles. Extra food and supplies good for 2 -3 days was kept in the kitchen. My dad came home just in time, the wind picked up the speed and was harassing the trees of the neighborhood. We went inside and a sure sign was said through the radio that the hurricane is still on our path and going stronger and coming faster on our way, our town shelter was announced it was the technical school that's just a few blocks away. I was thinking this is it then, and I felt fear creeping. I prayed to God to spare us.
After a couple of minutes, the wind suddenly stopped, and then the reporter said unbelievingly that the hurricane suddenly went upwards and the warning turned to watch again. The following day at work after removing tape and plywood, we heard on the radio people calling and asking why the false alarm? Others saying that they are angry at not being able to experience a real Hurricane. Yes, some people don't have an idea of the amount of damage it will cost a small island and if it can survive one. The authorities are doing a great job in keeping the people informed and tell us always to be prepared.

The preparations consist mainly of:
- gallons of water
- batteries
- candles and flashlight
- portable radio
- masking tape
- sheets of plywood and nails
- gallons of gasoline
- extra food and supplies

Maybe storage of water seems somewhat strange because we are surrounded by water, but as we are dependable on a water plant, which operates on energy for the supply of water we have to plan this in case there is a shortage in electricity.

Some places, and these include the ABC islands, have lower odds of being hit by a hurricane than other places, but they are not immune. Hurricane odds are based on history, and Aruba has a history of very few hurricanes — only six have passed within 62 miles of the island since 1877. This is close enough for at least some effects to be felt.
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Old Friday, July 20th, 2007, 11:38 AM
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Eagle-Beach Boy Eagle-Beach Boy is offline
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Default Re: Hurricane Season

This is why we can book our vacation / visit a year ahead of time.
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Old Friday, July 20th, 2007, 06:12 PM
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Default Re: Hurricane Season

I agree. Even though we arrived in Aruba just 1 day after Ivan hit in 2005, it was still so much less of a risk than most other islands in the Caribbean.

Now that I live in the Lower Keys I have a good chance of battling a hurricane, so I'm learning a lot about preparation. I've already got my evac kit ready to go, and welcome the challenge!
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Old Monday, July 23rd, 2007, 09:14 PM
JohnJT JohnJT is offline
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Default Re: Hurricane Season

We're in central Florida and evacuated 3 times in 2004...for Jeanne it was our Aruba time, so we left for AUA. Ivan had just passed north of Aruba and flooding rains caused some damage to low-lying areas of Orangestad. I guess there was no threat of wind damage as the storm was too far north, but the rain was a problem.

I do remember seeing photos of beach damage from Lenny.....a strange hurricane that went from west to east...in November. Again, it was a long way from Aruba, but high waves caused beach erosion and damage.

Georges passed through Santo Domingo and Haiti while we were in AUA. I think it was 1998. Those were the highest waves that I remember while being there.....6-7 feet. No damage that I recall and it was a nice, sunny day. The problem was that the hurricane "sucked the wind away". Aruba was very still (and VERY HOT) without wind for about 36 hours.

Good luck, Kevin, for a hurricane-free season. We'll hope for the same....about 400 road miles north of Key West.

Last edited by JohnJT; Monday, July 23rd, 2007 at 09:21 PM.
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