Ernesto, the latest storm to form in the Atlantic, is reportedly heading towards Jamaica. It could hit between Sunday and Monday.
Since news about Ernesto surfaced, we’ve had our eyes on the Olympics, Jamaica50 Independence celebrations, which kicked off at Jubilee Village on August 1, and weather reports on Ernesto.
If it hits, as predicted, and no one can predict with certainty the path of any storm, it could make for one memorable 50th anniversary celebration. Not only are we planning a grand party on August 6th, it will be another big day for the Jamaican Track & Field team at the Olympics in London.
No, as much as we would love the rain, we’ve already had several torrential showers this week, Ernesto is not welcomed at this party.
We’ve been lucky though. Several storms have had their eyes trained on Jamaica only to turn at the last minute. Their names no longer matter.
We’ve also been unlucky. Jamaicans of a certain age still talk about the hurricane (Charlie) of ’51 that claimed over 150 lives. And in 1988, Gilbert took direct aim at the island, leaving millions of dollars worth of damage to agriculture and infrastructure. It was so devastating, a song, Wild Gilbert, which put to music what happened ironically became one of the most popular songs of ’88. I can still hear my niece, who was about 4 at the time, singing Wild, Wild, Gilbert, the chorus. There have been several others, though not as damaging but just as frightening.
Ernesto has already stopped cricket in Barbados and Jamaican fishermen have been put on alert. Although winds have decreased, the storm could still pick up strength, turn into a hurricane and head straight for us.
No, Ernesto must turn back, stall over water, or better still, dissipate.
We can only keep our fingers crossed. Reports this morning are that Ernesto will arrive here on Sunday afternoon. So we’re making sure there’s water in the house. No need to buy any thing that needs refrigeration in case the power goes out.
We’ll sit tight and watch – the Olympics, the Jamaica50 Independence Jubilee, and the weather reports, most likely in that order. We’ll also be praying that the rains and winds don’t do too much damage.
Unfortunately, we’re in the hurricane season so storms can come up at any time. In fact, Florence, the next one is churning around somewhere out there. We’re not paying attention to her just yet.