Tweet (9:50 a.m. EDT) -- As Hurricane Earl moves away from the Caribbean and up the U.S. East Coast, what damage has been left in its wake? Here's what you can expect on cruise-port islands that were in Earl's path -- including first-hand reports from sites like StormCarib and Twitter, where Caribbean residents are posting photos and updates.
We'll continue to add new information as it is received.
A tourism spokesperson for the island of Antigua shared the following information today by e-mail: "Although Hurricane Earl did not directly hit the twin-island destination of Antigua and Barbuda, during the hurricane watch, gale force winds and flooding forced the closure of the major airport and cruise port at Heritage Quay for more than 24 hours. Both ports of activity have since reopened for business following an island wide power outage. Residents and business owners spent the past three days cleaning up after this powerful storm and power has been fully restored. There have been no reports of structural damage throughout the city of St. John's and normal business has resumed at the cruise port, airport, business centers and tourist attractions throughout the destination."
Serenade of the Seas called as planned yesterday; in fact, a Royal Caribbean spokeswoman tells us that, so far, there are no changes to port calls due to damage from Earl.
A tourism spokesperson for the Turks and Caicos chain of islands tells us that the Grand Turk Cruise Center was not damaged during the storm, adding that workers are in the process of putting beach and pool furniture back in place as well as cleaning debris on the beach and around the property. Carnival Miracle will be the next ship to call on Grand Turk, on September 7, as scheduled.
There was no damage reported on San Juan. A tourism representative tells us that the cruise port is ready to accommodate ships; Serenade of the Seas is expected to turnaround on Sunday as scheduled. Carnival Victory is also expected to call as planned on Sunday.
StormCarib poster David Thyssen writes, "As the eye passed Anguilla, all of a sudden strong gusts accompanied by heavy rain, tore down trees and took down everything not securely fastened, like my satellite dish ... The ferry port was flooded and damaged, as well as the town hall." There are no ships scheduled to call on St. Barth's the near future.
St. Maarten/St. Martin
NBC news reported earlier tshi week that "residents on the island of St. Martin/St. Maarten said Earl brought rain, wind and pounding seas on the coast, causing power outages and knocking down trees. There were also some reports of homes losing their roofs." A tourism spokesperson tells us that roads are now passable, all businesses are open, and the cruise ports on both the Dutch and French sides of the island are open; Serenade of the Seas is expected to visit St. Maarten today as scheduled.
St. Thomas and the U.S.V.I.
In the U.S. Virgin Island of St. Thomas, "Things look good," posted StormCarib member Ronnie. "Downed trees. One capsized boat that I can see. Slight wind."
A prepared statement from St. Thomas' Department of Tourism confirms that there are no reports of structural damage and that no loss of life or injury has been reported as a result of the storm. Clean up efforts are currently underway to remove road debris and fallen trees, and the territory's seaports have reopened. (Carnival Victory will be the first back, on Friday.)
DearMissMermaid, a regular poster on StormCarib, reprinted a note from a honeymooning couple on Virgin Gorda (no cruise ships on the schedule in the near future): "...blogs from around the islands are reporting significant damages due to high winds, rain and rising sea levels. Power is out across the islands and [there is] no potable water."
--by Melissa Paloti, Managing Editor
Itinerary Changes: Caribbean Cruises
Itinerary Changes: Canada and New England Cruises, Transatlantics and Northeast Homeports
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Damage Report: Caribbean Ports in Aftermath of Hurricane Earl
September 3, 2010