November 24, 2020

2011 Atlantic Hurricane season closes

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The 2011 Atlantic hurricane season was a busy one, as predicted by forecasters, but for the Cayman Islands it was generally quiet and free from threats. Between June 1, 2011 and November 30, 2011 there were nineteen tropical cyclones. Two of these developed into major hurricanes.

Hurricane Rina was the most significant threat to the Cayman Islands.  Rina first focused the attention of local residents on October 23rd when it was a strong tropical depression located about 200 miles south of Grand Cayman. By the following morning, Rina was upgraded to a tropical storm and later the same day became a hurricane.

The cyclone proceeded to track very slowly to the northwest and on October 23rd and 24th the Cayman Islands National Weather Service issued severe weather bulletins  as the hurricane started to affect the Cayman area with rough seas, gusty winds and several inches of rain.

On October 25th Hurricane Rina was located 256 miles southwest of the Cayman Islands when it attained major hurricane status. The category three hurricane continued to travel slowly (approximately 3 miles an hour) to the north northwest. As it moved past Grand Cayman, large swells began to impact the south and west coasts. Waves breached the coastal road in parts of George Town and along the West Bay Road. Traffic was diverted as crews from the National Roads Authority worked to clear the road of sand and debris.

The most significant development of the 2011 Hurricane Season was the retirement of Deputy Governor Donovan Ebanks. “It is the end of an era with the departure of Mr. Ebanks,” said HMCI Director, McCleary Frederick, “He has been the champion of disaster risk reduction and a calm, rational leader in times of crisis. His leadership is appreciated and will be missed.”

Mr. Donovan Ebanks played a critical role in developing Hazard Management Cayman Islands and the disaster risk reduction capacity of the Cayman Islands for nearly three decades. For many years he chaired the National Hurricane Committee and then took over leadership of the National Hazard Management Council. Mr. Ebanks was at the helm during Hurricane Ivan, one of the greatest natural disasters in Cayman’s recorded history.





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