Hurricane Beryl Wreaks Widespread Destruction in Grenada

On Wednesday, Hurricane Beryl continued on its destructive path toward the Cayman Islands and Jamaica.

As it headed there still as a Category 4 storm, the devastation it left in its path became much clearer in places such as Grenada, where the leader of the small island nation said the destruction was “total” and “unimaginable.”

Dickon Mitchell, the prime minister of the country, visited the islands of Petite Martinique and Carriacou on Wednesday, saying during a briefing:

“We have to rebuild from the ground up.”

The hurricane barreled through Grenada on Monday.

According to officials, about 98% of the structures that are located on those islands had either been damaged or completely destroyed. That includes the airport, marinas, the Princess Royal Hospital and the main health facility in Carriacou.

There are about 10,000 people who live on those islands.

The New York Times reported that, as of Tuesday evening, neither island had any electricity, and all communications were down as well.

There were fallen utility poles and trees littering the streets, and many of the crops that were growing there were destroyed, too.

As Mitchell said:

“There is literally no vegetation left anywhere on the island of Carriacou, the mangroves are totally destroyed.”

If there was any small glimmer of good news, it’s that the total death toll appears to be low. Three deaths have been reported due to the hurricane, according to officials, with two of them happening on Carriacou.

One other was reported in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. On Tuesday, Nicolas Maduro, the president of Venezuela, said three people died in the northern part of his country from the storm.

Hurricane Beryl grew to be a Category 5 storm by Tuesday morning, and was expected to hit Jamaica and the Cayman Islands Wednesday morning as still a very powerful Category 4 storm. 

On Wednesday, Andrew Holness, the prime minister of Jamaica, said the island has “not seen the worst” of the hurricane’s impacts, even though it had been around there for a while.

No deaths had been reported in the island nation as of Wednesday afternoon, but the prime minister was scheduled to give an update on the situation and damage on Wednesday night. 

The center of the hurricane was located about 20 miles south of the island, but was dealing significant damage there. It is the strongest hurricane to pass this close to Jamaica since Hurricane Dean in 2007.

That storm was a Category 4 storm as well, with maximum sustained winds of 145 mph recorded when it passed by the island in August 2007.

Two people were killed as a result of that hurricane. The National Hurricane Center also said that storm knocked out many of the instruments that are used to observe weather on the island.

According to weather services, the hurricane is expected to decrease in power over the next few days, but could still make landfall in Mexico near Cancun on Friday as a Category 2 storm.

Its eventual path might lead it into southern Texas near Laredo, but it should be a tropical storm by then.