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Mike Barrowman reports on Hurricane Mitch

Oct 30, 1998

Olympic Champion Mike Barrowman is living in the Cayman Islands while he finishes his sci-fi book, does underwater videography on the reefs, and teaches scuba diving. He sent our reporter Cecil Colwin a report on Hurricane Mitch.

"The hurricane didn't run us over. That pretty much saved the island. It did get quite blustery here, though. About 60mph winds. We had to go to the store and stock up for a week without power. Luckily that didn't happen. (I'd have been bored out of my mind!) But, the winds got very rough in the nights. I was up for most of them - the howling kept me up plus nerves at the possibility of breaking through the glass windows we had taped up. Many had plywooded up their windows, but we waited to see if it was going to come close enough to do some real damage."

"I went down to the boats at about 3 in the morning to see if they were ok. Those mangroves really provided a great deal of protection. The next morning, I took out the video camera to document the destruction. The NW point of the island was hit the hardest - dozens of condos were totally destroyed. It is quite a humbling experience to see massive waves rushing through a living room."

"Last night we walked on the sea side road now closed and covered with water and sand from the swollen sea. I keep having the same feeling I had when in grade school and the snow was too high to go to school. I'm off work for a few more days. No business as there is no one around. Its ok, I have plenty of things to do in the meantime!!"