- The National Hurricane Center released
its last public advisory concerning Tropical Storm Lenny at 4:00 p.m. EST
on Sunday, November 21, 1999. At that time, the storm had been downgraded
to a tropical depression with maximum sustained winds of 30 MPH and higher
gusts in a few squalls to the east of the depression's center. The
center was located approximately 370 miles east-northeast of the Leeward
Islands (18.3N x 56.1W).
of Current Situation
- Preliminary damage assessments indicate
that the vast majority of the damage is to infrastructure, primarily to
coastal roads and beaches. The humanitarian needs in the region do
not appear to be overwhelming or life-threatening at this time. All
affected islands now have electricity, water, and telecommunications, and
all airports have been reopened. One of the main concerns of regional
governments is damage to the tourism sector, including hotels, restaurants,
beaches, and docks just before the start of the winter tourist season.
- According to a November 19, 1999 report
issued by the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Response Agency (CDERA), the
National Disaster Coordinators have summarized damages to specific countries
Antigua and Barbuda:
- Damages in Antigua and Barbuda are all
water-related: beach erosion, massive flooding, and roads blocked by mudslides.
Antigua received an estimated 31 inches of water by the time the
rain ended; however, the water has already receded in many areas. One
death is confirmed as a result of the storm. The most severe damage
is recorded in the Parish of St. Mary, which has a population of 10,000.
The Government of Antigua has declared disaster areas in locations
affecting approximately 490 families. Although food has been sent
to the southern parishes, it is uncertain at this time whether it will
be sufficient to meet the needs. Assessments are continuing, but
are being significantly hindered by inaccessibility to certain areas.
According to the American Red Cross (ARC), electricity, telephones and
the airport are functioning and schools will reopen on November 23.
Kitts and Nevis: population 42,838
- The National Emergency Management Agency
(NEMA), the St. Kitts and Nevis National Society, and ARC conducted a joint
assessment of the area. Findings from this assessment included 46
homes destroyed, 332 houses with damages ranging from mild to severe, and
some damage to the main coastal road and bridges. The local government
has not declared an emergency.
- Officials of the Commonwealth of Dominica
have reported to the U.S. Embassy that many families located on the western
coast of the island lost their homes as a result of the intense high waves.
Many villages have been isolated from the rest of the island due
to destroyed roads. The government has estimated reconstruction costs
of US $1.5 million in road reconstruction, rehabilitation of road retaining
walls at US $950,000, US $18.5 million in sea defenses and $800,000 in
relief building materials and foodstuffs. The Government of Dominica
also fears that many remaining roads are now extremely vulnerable to the
- To date, Grenada's Ministry of Foreign
Affairs has estimated damages to infrastructure at more than US $100 million,
but the amount could rise after further assessment. In addition to
washed out roads, businesses, homes, and sea walls, the most pressing problem
is road access to the oil storage facility in Fontenoy. Several locations
have been declared disaster areas, including St. Georges, which sustained
substantial damage to its infrastructure.
Vincent and The Grenadines: population 120,519
- St. Vincent and The Grenadines have
suffered infrastructural damage along the western coast, with flooding
and wind damage to banana stands and markets. Several schools also
sustained roof damage and a gas station was destroyed in Layou.
Lucia: population 154,020
- The most severe damage in St. Lucia
was in the city of Soufrière. More information will become available
once the USAID/OFDA team assesses this island.
- USAID/OFDA received a disaster declaration
cable from the U.S. Embassy in Barbados on November 22 for Antigua and
Barbuda, St. Kitts and Nevis, Dominica, Grenada, St. Vincent, and St. Lucia.
The declaration noted that emergency supplies may be requested later
as determined by the findings from the assessments currently being carried
out by the USAID/OFDA team.
- On November 19, a six-person USAID/OFDA
team deployed to the region to conduct damage assessments and identify
potential emergency needs. The team is composed of the USAID/OFDA
Regional Advisor from Jamaica (Team Leader), a USAID/OFDA Regional Advisor
from the Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) Office in Costa Rica, and four
disaster specialists from Miami-Dade Fire and Rescue. The Team Leader
is currently stationed in Barbados to communicate information to USAID/Washington
and coordinate the team's activities with the multi-donor assessment group
and the U.S. Embassy in Barbados. Three members of the team have
been in Antigua since November 21 to assess damages and will fly to Grenada
on November 23 to conduct an assessment there. The remaining two
team members are flying to St. Kitts on November 22 and to Dominica on
November 23 to assess damages. USAID/OFDA's LAC Regional Advisor
will travel from Grenada to St. Lucia and St. Vincent later in the week
to conduct additional assessments.
- In addition, USAID/OFDA is providing
$8,000 to fund four local engineers contracted through the U.S. Embassy
to conduct assessments of damages to infrastructure. The governments
and reconstruction agencies of the affected islands will use the results
to determine reconstruction activities. Two of the engineers arrived
in Grenada on November 22 to begin their assessments.
- At the request of the Government of
the Netherlands (GON), the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) supplied a
C-130 aircraft to transport relief commodities from Curacao to the islands
of St. Maarten, Saba, and St. Eustatius. The GON has agreed to fully
reimburse the DOD for the cost of the flight.
- ARC has sent personnel to the field
to assist with damage and humanitarian needs assessments and is coordinating
with the USAID/OFDA team. Based on the findings, ARC is prepared
to deliver pre-positioned relief supplies to the region.
- In conjunction with CDERA, the Eastern
Caribbean Donors Group deployed a Rapid Needs Assessment Team (RNAT) on
November 21, to aid in conducting individual country assessments. The
United Nations Development Program (UNDP) is coordinating the team. Participants
in the RNAT include technical specialists from the members of the Donor
Group as well as CDERA, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and
- Local governments and authorities throughout
the affected islands have been actively coordinating with U.S. and international
agencies and organizations to effectively assess emergency needs and report
important information on damages. The Governments of Dominica and
Grenada have supplied the U.S. Embassy with preliminary lists of reconstruction
needs to rectify damage to infrastructure.
- In the interest of effective coordination
of public response, we encourage monetary donations to appropriate organizations.
USAID encourages the public to contact directly those private voluntary
organizations (PVOs) currently working in the region to provide monetary
donations. A list of the PVOs may be obtained from the USAID website
The list is composed of PVOs that are registered with USAID and/or listed
by InterAction, a coalition of voluntary humanitarian and development organizations
that work overseas; InterAction can be contacted at 1-202-667-8227 x106,
or via the Internet at www.interaction.org.
Those interested in providing specific technical relief services or commodities
should contact Volunteers in Technical Assistance's (VITA) Disaster Information
Center for information and guidelines at (703) 276-1914 or via the Internet
- A tropical system that formed in the
Southwest Caribbean over the weekend of November 13-14, 1999 was upgraded
to Hurricane Lenny on the afternoon of November 14. As a Category
4 hurricane, Lenny produced maximum sustained winds of almost 140 MPH and
over 30 inches of rain in certain areas. After having minimal effect
on Jamaica, Hurricane Lenny turned to the northeast, passed south of Haiti
and the Dominican Republic, and crossed over Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin
Islands, before stalling in the northeastern Caribbean for two days. Some
of the most severe damage was sustained in the Leeward Islands of French
St. Martin, Dutch St. Maarten, Anguilla, Antigua, Saba, St. Eustatius,
and St. Kitts and Nevis. The southern Windward Islands of Grenada,
St. Vincent and the Grenadines, St. Lucia, Dominica, and Guadeloupe also
sustained damage to infrastructure from thunderstorms and high seas as
a result of the hurricane. Lenny was downgraded to a tropical storm
on the afternoon of November 19, and was further downgraded to a tropical
depression over the weekend of November 20 and 21.