Jamaica-bound Hurricane Matthew is Now a Record-Breaking Category 5
Eric Holthaus
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We have such a fragile economy here which is significantly dependent on tourism. I was 19 years old when Gilbert struck and that was a catastrophe. I can only imagine what something this powerful will do. Gilbert struck on September 12th, 1988 and my neighbourhood in Kingston got back electricity just before Christmas. Another big worry is Kingston’s airport on a peninsula south of the city called the Palisadoes. It is a narrow strip of land about 9 miles long. After Hurricane Ivan passed close to us in 2004 the ocean swept over parts of it. I shudder to think what may happen if Kingston receives a direct hit from the south which I think is unprecedented as most of the hits Kingston has taken have been more from east to west. If the airport is compromised relief supplies would have to come in from Montego Bay’s airport on the north coast and then be transported by road or helicopter to the more affected southern areas and Kingston. I’m assuming we will need relief supplies because that is what happened after Gilbert. I still have that picture of American military planes coming through the skies of Kingston to the airport and volunteer power company workers from the USA working on our power lines. Really hoping it misses us.

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