Most Bahamians here on Eleuthera seem resigned to Irene, the currently Category 2 hurricane that is projected to be Category 3 by the time she hits Eleuthera sometime late Wednesday/early Thursday. Right now analysts project the eye to pass directly over the island at 8:00am Thursday. That can change and we are all fervently hoping that she will continue to push east.
If I was in the U.S. every radio station, every TV station, every person would be talking about Irene. Home Depot would be out of stock on generators and Kroger would be sold out of bottled water, toilet paper and bread. Here, you see Bahamians systematically closing shutters and covering windows. It’s not solemn or a party atmosphere, it’s just work. We are all doing what needs to be done. The stores still have stock and the liquor stores still have rum.
We took Fred’s daughter, her husband and their five kids to the airport today. The international terminal was already boarded up. The domestic terminal was crowded with what looked to be primarily tourists leaving the island the last day they could. We were told that the airport would be closed tomorrow. Pineapple Air and Southern Air added or diverted flights here to service the need.
Back at home we’ve done our share of shuttering and covering windows. We’ve moved grills inside, moved patio furniture into garages, looked around every corner for what may fly in the air and become a projectile missile in 150 mph winds. The dogs know something’s up and won’t leave our sides, but they too look more resigned to Irene than worried or excited.
The winds are picking up. There are whitecaps on the ocean and palm trees are swaying. An errant rain cloud skitters across the sky and a few drops of rain fall. Overall it’s blue skies and a brisk breeze–a perfect day in the Bahamas. We wonder what the future holds.