We have frozen this blog as a historical, yet informational view at what life is like in the West Indies Mission for all those called to serve. This blog was designed for the families and friends of those missionaries serving in the West Indies Mission from July 2006 to July 2009. Every six weeks, photos taken at zone conference as well as a new slide show including every person baptized were posted on the blog. All of the slide shows are also available on our You Tube channel. The current West Indies Mission blog can be found here. Posts on our missionary experience can be found here and earlier. And finally, if you are a returned missionary who served in the West Indies, there is a current blog for you. Click here or visit westindiesrm@blogspot.com

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Omar and St Martin

Hurricane Omar passed over St Martin early Thursday morning, Oct 16th. Poor Elder Larson was transferred there on Wednesday. He got there just in time for the adventure. We kept in touch with the Platts - the missionary couple and all the missionaries stayed inside and were safe. Here is the latest report from the Platts:

Dear Family and Friends,

It is 4 am on October 18th and the power just came on. The hurricane came through here just after midnight on October 16th and left about 4am which means we have been exactly 48 hours without power so far. We had a brief 10 minutes of power the early morning of the 16th when I sent a quick message saying we were fine. The paper says we will be without power for 7 days except briefly as they try each area out so I will send this now.

It was a category 3 hurricane but the center was 90 miles from us. The damage sustained was from winds and strong waves. We are grateful that damage was mostly minor such as fallen trees, lots of debris, minor leaks and such. There was a curfew even after the storm so the crews could clean the roads of sand, huge rocks and fallen trees. They did a great job. Everyone spent the 17th cleaning up. The salt water that was carried inland causes the plants to turn brown so people were hauling debris to the curbs, garbage trucks spent the day yesterday constantly on the move picking up debris. People were washing plants, vehicles, houses etc. to get the salt off.
Our area has underground electricity so we hope to have full power soon. Much of the island has overhead power and they must repair all the poles before they will get power.
But we were very fortunate not to get a direct hit so food supplies and such are not badly affected. Planes began flying late yesterday afternoon. Wharf repairs should be complete in a couple of days.

It is amazing to see the force of nature. The Elders on the French side just got a little water in their apartment from a leak. All French power is underground so they have been fine.
The Elders in Philipsburg have had no power so far. Their landline is out and they can't charge their cell phone so we try to check with them when they are in their apartment but they are far from the sea and had no damage. Until they went out they didn't think it was bad!!!
Enjoy your snow!!!

Here are some pictures and comments they sent:

All the beaches are covered in seaweed and the water is much higher than normal

The royal palms are standing but were shorn of their outside leaves

Many signs were knocked down. Flooding occurred.

The boardwalk in Philipsburg was covered in sand and they had to sweep up big piles and carry it away. Huge trees were uprooted. But most homes stood.

We have photos of several cars hit by falling trees. The airport was closed from 4pm the 15th until Oct. 17th at 4pm

Close to the beaches, snack bars were battered, ripped apart and large rocks thrown up on the ground.

Here are the chairs, stoves and other furnishings of another beach restaurant.

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