Friends and Families, We wanted to reach out and give you and update on Hurricane Irene from our perspective on the island. We are expecting Irene (http://www.wunderground.com/tropical/tracking/at201109.html ) to pass over Eleuthera as a category 3 hurricane, with winds and rain starting to affect the campus tomorrow (Wednesday) evening. For the 8,000 local residents of Eleuthera, it's a ritual to buy plywood, batteries, bottled water and bleach, and fuel up their electric generators. For the Island School, Deep Creek Middle School, and Cape Eleuthera Institute, we are cleaning up campus, securing the building project sites, and taking boats out of the water. The Island School and DCMS students have not yet arrived for the start of school, but research at the Institute will be interrupted for several days with the packing and unpacking of electronics, with all of us anticipating some leaks and puddles inside as the rains and wind arrive.
We anticipate losing phones and internet service during and after the storm for up to a few days because of likely interruptions in electricity supply to transmission equipment elsewhere on the island. We are positioning people and resources to be able to help in the community afterwards - often the biggest issues are downed trees and road flooding, and we bring tools and lots of willing neighborly help to the scene.
We don't expect that people on the island will need extraordinary support after this storm. As always, we stand ready to respond to local requests for medical assistance, and with a full complement of Wilderness First Responders of staff coming off of a 9 day training earlier this month, we have resources to offer in that direction.
We appreciate your concerns and will continue to provide updates when possible via our blog. We are still VERY excited to welcome our 26th semester of Island School students to the Cape on Monday August 29th!
--The Island School