10:30 a.m. – Bridgetown: Barbados seems to have dodged the bullet once again. Initial reports here are of trees down in the north of the island. The all-clear was given here at 7:00 a.m. and businesses are reopening. Hurricane shelters were open from 6:00 p.m. last night. I have not yet heard if anyone had to use any of those shelters. Reports will come in during the day.
I have reached Bishop Emmanuel McLorren, president of the Fellowship of Gospel Preaching Churches in St. Lucia. St. Lucia is still in the hurricane. Electricity has been shut down across the entire island to minimize damage to the network. Most of the damage seems to be in the north of St. Lucia. The Pediatric Ward at the hospital has lost part of its roof. There are reports of houses damaged, roads blocked by landslides, and many trees down. The banana industry is particularly vulnerable to high winds. More reports will be available in the hours ahead. According to Bishop McLorren, he has not yet had reports of any church buildings being damaged.
I have been unable to reach Bishop Michael Daniel, president of the Dominica Association of Evangelical Churches. I will keep trying.
I have spoken to Rev. Joscelyn Martin, president of the United Evangelical Association of Antigua and Barbuda. He reports that Antigua has not experienced much wind from hurricane Dean. According to Rev. Marten the highest recorded winds in Antigua were 38 mph. He has not yet heard reports of any damage sustained locally. The rain is continuing to fall and Antigua is under overcast skies.
According to caribbean360.com, “The hurricane, which is about 280 miles wide, was expected to inflict the heaviest damage on the French dependency of Martinique.” Phone lines to Martinique are busy at this time and I have been unable to reach any pastors there.
Jamaica and the Cayman Islands are moving preparations into high gear as Hurricane Dean is expected to be a category 4 hurricane (sustained winds in excess of 130 mph) when it reaches the vicinity of these islands by Sunday.
Preparations are also underway in Haiti where lives are lost to flooding in storm conditions and in neighbouring Dominican Republic.
Rev. Gerald A. Seale, DD,
General Secretary and CEO,
Evangelical Association of the Caribbean,
41 Excel Road, Elizabeth Park, Christ Church BB15092, Barbados,
Web Site: www.caribbeanevangelical.org
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