Monday, August 24, 2009
So much for all the hype. The weekend saw strong winds, high surf, and driving rain, but Hurricane Bill largely spared Bermuda for what was undoubtedly an anticlimactic two days. We didn’t even lose power, an event my Bermudian neighbors—most of whom endured the punishing blows of Hurricane Fabian in 2003—all but guaranteed. Of course I’m not complaining. The island is certainly breathing a collective sigh of relief, especially since a seven-year-old girl just died off the coast of Maine after getting swept away by a rogue wave. But the storm did feel, shall we say, much ado about nothing. Local news is still trickling in, but a spokeswoman from Bermuda Electric Light Company said 3,700 customers lost power (down to 1,300 as of yesterday) and minor flooding was reported island-wide. A Saturday afternoon drive confirmed stray branches had been cleared from roads, although the same can’t be said for the island’s beaches, many of which are still littered with debris that washed ashore (see above; that's Church Bay). Gold stars go to Digicell—Bermuda’s largest wireless provider—for sending storm updates to all of its customers via hourly text messages and Marketplace Southampton for only charging me $4.50 for a box of five candles (as opposed to the price gouging that was going on at Gorham’s, the Home Depot of Bermuda). So consider the storm weathered. It’s clear all those extra batteries, hefty six-volt flashlights, and multi-packs of duct tape will have to stay put for awhile, which is fine by me.