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Last Updated: Tuesday, 21 December 2004, 17:43 GMT
Hurricane season: Your experiences
St George's in Grenada after Hurricane Ivan

More than 1,600 people were killed and hundreds of thousands were left homeless in the series of hurricanes that swept the US and Carribbean in 2004.

The Red Cross launched a $4.8m appeal to help tens of thousands of people made homeless as a result of Hurricane Ivan in the Caribbean.

We asked you to contact us if you were in the affected areas and what you did to protect your family and home.

This debate is now closed. Read a selection of your comments below:

Some of your pictures of Hurricane Ivan in the Caribbean

My parents, living in Lower Valley reported the tin roofs of two neighbouring houses being taken off by the extensive winds, leaving only the rafters exposed and insides vulnerable to the pouring rain. Mostly all of the trees in the area have been uprooted and blown away, including breadfruit, palm and coconut trees. It is possible that the international cable, which allows for international phone calls in and out of the country may have been damaged, causing congestion in telecommunications including, text and voice connections. Phone lines are down for sure in Lower Valley and most likely island wide, with cellular signals being hard to maintain due to the weather conditions of the atmosphere.
Mike, Grand Cayman

I have just got off Grand Cayman, it is total devastation, whole apartments have been washed away, I have friends that have nothing but the clothing they are wearing. We all thought we were going to die. The Island needs help desperately to maintain security, sanitation and provide food and water.
Stephen, Cayman Islands

I have been trying for days to get through to my brother in GT and finally succeeded this morning. Spoke with him for approx 1/2 hour. Situation is grim. He has told me that the Church St South is indeed gone, and many buildings have collapsed. He can't possibly fathom the power being restored in days, and says the island is obviously in real trouble. The biggest concern right now is the security of the people. They are staying with friends and sleep with machetes for their own safety. There is looting going on in the middle of the day, not to mention at night. Curfew from 6pm to 6am seems to be having little effect, because there is nobody to enforce it.

He has spoken to a friend of his who is a policeman on the island, and was told that the police need help immediately. There is no way the current force can control the present situation. His friend told him that the looters are armed and very dangerous, and have evened stormed a shelter and robbed people of their belongings in broad daylight. He was also informed that there was a riot at the prison last night, but was not sure if any prisoners escaped. He is sure that the status of no fatalities will change, because at this time there is nobody to perform search and rescue operations in fallen buildings because the police force is stretched to the limit and just patrolling the streets.
Keith, Grand Cayman

Some Ivan pictures from the Caribbean island of Grenada

I and 10 other medical students from the UK just managed to escape from Grenada four days after Hurricane Ivan devastated the island. We had little food, no water, no shelter or safety and all this with absolutely no help from the British government. As somebody who has survived a crisis like this I now regard the British government's relief effort with contempt and anger. How could they abandon their citizens when the US were evacuating US citizens on a daily basis? I got off the island off my own back - many others have not.
Jonathan Bath, UK/Grenada

I heard about hurricanes but never in my entire 34 years have I ever experienced something like this. In the area where I live on the Carenage, as far as my eye can see, every building lost their roof including mine. It all happened so quickly that all one could do was to stay where they were, covering themselves. When my roof disappeared, I went underneath a step in the basement together with my five-year-old daughter, sheltering from the rain underneath a piece of thick canvas. We stayed there for about 2.5 hours as the wind howled and roof tops came tumbling down the hill and crashing into our house. We managed to get out to safety at the Cable & Wireless building, my workplace, where I am now safe.
Ernest George, St George's, Grenada

The sky has acquired a fluorescent green colour with sudden red and blue lighting flashes that fall from the sky. Visibility is almost none and there's water falling from all directions. From the sky, sideways, and even from underground as the sewers are full. It seems as if there were water fountains everywhere.
RFO, Kingston, Jamaica

House boarded up in preparation for Hurricane Ivan (Pic: Alex, Metairie, LA, USA)
Alex spent 10 hours preparing for Hurricane Ivan's arrival
We've just spent the last 10 hours moving all the pool furniture into the garage and boarding up the house. We're now packing up our important stuff to take to Houston at 4am. If we get hit head on, New Orleans will be under 12ft of water.
Alex, Metairie, LA, USA

I am impressed with how well Montgomery fared against Ivan. The city really took it on the chin, so to speak. But the electricity is gradually coming back on. And the damage isn't as severe as after Opal, the last hurricane of that size to come through the city. My personal experience was not at all that bad. Shingles from a roof pelted my car. But I only lost power for about 8 hours. Now the only thing I have to worry about is what to do with the bottled water and dried fruit I bought in anticipation of Ivan the Terrible. Well, that and file an insurance claim.
Robert Weil, Montgomery, AL, USA

What a monster. It's still packing hurricane force winds well inland, and is expected to until it batters Montgomery (200 miles inland.) Afterwards, it will probably set up over eastern Tennessee, where rainfall is expected to exceed 15 inches. If that happens, my house, and more than likely, my entire city, will be under water. This is a real beast of a storm... a classic worst-case scenario in the flesh.
Tom, Scottsboro, Alabama

New Orleans waiting for Ivan - who never came

The city which is approximately nine feet below sea level has powerful pumps but they can only pump one inch per hour so some flooding is expected. The mood of those staying is cautious. I will be leaving my house in the Fauberg Marigny district, adjacent to the Quarter, to stay with a friend in the Quarter. The power lines are all underground there making it less likely for the power to go out. People that stay have been advised to get an axe so if we have to flee to an attic we can chop our way to the roof. Apparently this is how people drown in floods.
Rick Baxter, New Orleans, USA


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