Hurricane Emily was (and continues to be) an unpredictable storm from the very beginning. Early reports said Emily would pass the through the Caribbeanislands as a disorganized tropical storm. On the afternoon of July 13, 2005, Hurricane warnings were downgraded to Tropical Storm warnings, applying to Barbados, Tobago, Grenada, the Grenadines, St. Vincent, St. Lucia and the northern coast of Venezuela. Significant rainfall and high winds near 60 mph were expected on several islands. However, in a matter of hours, Emily turned into a category 1 hurricane and later hit Grenada. Preliminary reports indicate that many of the repairs made in the wake of last September's Hurricane Ivan, withstood the force of the storm. The following damage to the health sector has been reported so far, and a more complete report is expected once flights resume to Grenada and a PAHO/WHO disaster expert arrives:
- The hospital in Carriacou lost part
of its roof and patients had to be relocated.
- The Duncan Ward of the St. Georges General
Hospital, which was retrofitted several years ago, withstood damage for
the second time, as was the case last year following Hurricane Ivan. There
was some minor leaking as water entered through windows.
- Cadrona and Hilarian Homes for the Elderly
lost their roofs.
- 45 shelters are open with 1600 persons.
- A shelter at Marian and another at Montoute
lost their roofs.
- The parishes of St. Davids, St. Andrews
and St. Patrick sustained extensive damage to property and electric power
- There are reports of water leaks at Richmond Home for the Elderly.
This is the second year in a row that Grenada has experienced a direct hurricane hit and many residents, who are still struggling to recover from Hurricane Ivan last year, were not thoroughly prepared for the early start of this year's hurricane season.
A Hurricane Warning is now in effect for all of Jamaica. At 8am on Friday, the center of Hurricane Emily was located about 345 miles south-southeast of Port-au-Prince, Haiti and about 525 east-southeast of Kingston, Jamaica. Hurricane Emily is moving towards the west-northwest near 20mph and this motion is expected to continue for the next 24 hours. This track takes Emily's center just south of Jamaica on Saturday.