[UPDATE: This report by Dr. Jeff Masters suggests there was somewhat more damage that I thought when I first published this post. The damage was caused in part by Omar’s “unusual west-to-east motion [which] resulted in storm surge and waves affecting the western side of the islands, which are not as well-defended against these effects.” Read the whole thing.]
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First off, no, the title of this post isn’t a typo. I just couldn’t resist calling Hurricane Omar “Omarrr,” in light of the fact that “Ol’ Chumbucket” — one of the “Pirate Guys” who created International Talk Like a Pirate Day — filed several video reports on Omar from St. Croix. Arrr!
(It should be noted that Chumbucket & family were in Frederiksted, on the west end of the island, so they would have experienced far less severe conditions than those on the east end, where the eyewall hit.)
On a more serious note, Dr. Jeff Masters writes this morning that Omar caused mostly minor damage across the affected islands:
Thankfully, no deaths or injuries have been reported from the storm, which avoided making a direct hit on any islands. Hardest hit appears to be the island of Antigua, where 5.71″ of rain was recorded at the airport. Severe flooding washed out roads and prompted many boat rescues, putting up to 100 people in shelters. St. Croix, whose eastern tip caught the eyewall winds of Omar, received minor damage, according to media reports. The storm did knock out power to the entire island for nearly a day, and caused considerable damage to piers and boats in the main harbor, though. Flooding was also reported in the British Virgin Islands, St. Martin, and St. Kitts and Nevis. On St. Martin, high waves dumped rocks and sand of the runway of the airport, forcing its closure. The airport was scheduled to be reopened today.
As Masters notes, stormcarib.com has more details on Omar’s impact.
Masters also writes this:
Several computer models are predicting the development of a tropical depression in the Atlantic’s southwestern Caribbean, off the coast of Nicaragua or Honduras, about 5-8 days from now. Wind shear is expected to be low, 5-10 knots, across most of the Caribbean for the next ten days, and I would not be surprised to see a tropical storm develop in the Caribbean next week.
A hypothetical proto-Paloma? (Hypo-Paloma?) We shall see.