Hurricane season officially ends tomorrow, and we can all let out a sigh of relief. The dropping evening temperatures and the cooler winter ocean bring welcome relief from the heat of summer and monitoring the storm reports.
June 1 through November end is the official Atlantic hurricane season and the start of the season finds islanders trimming trees, checking generators, and repairing, replacing, and purchasing hurricane shutters. This year was no different. 2016 was an unusual hurricane season, starting with the surprise appearance of “Alex” as the first named storm on January 6, thankfully disappearing into the Atlantic with no landfall, and ending with “Otto”, the southernmost land falling hurricane in Central America on record, according to the National Hurricane Center’s website.
Estimates say this Atlantic hurricane season has been the most active and costly since 2012 and the deadliest since 2005 when Hurricane Stan formed. Between January 6th and November 30th there were 15 named storms, 7 hurricanes and 3 major storms. The 2016 Hurricane season also logged the first time in history two major hurricanes happened in the month of October.
Though this season is over, recovery efforts from Matthew’s direct hit in the Bahamas continue. Our strong building codes had less devastation occurring here than other countries hit by this storm and thankfully no loss of life. Our hearts and help have gone out to other hard hit Caribbean neighbors even as we rebuild and assist throughout our islands. May 2017’s hurricane season be uneventful from start to finish!
Architectural Insight: Shutters
Seen throughout the islands as a decorative addition to cottages and homes, shutters are a necessary item in the event of hurricanes. When a hurricane is travelling in an island’s direction, shutters are closed and secured for the protection of windows in the event of flying debris. This eliminates manually installing and removing shutters and allows islanders to get about the business of securing food, water, fuel and other necessary items in the event of hurricane watches and warnings. Shown below are three styles of island shutters and more information because June 1 will be here again before you know it.
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Photos by: Emily Morley, Infographic by: Stephen Mouzon, A Living Tradition Architecture in The Bahamas