There’s a palpable feeling of relief rippling across Cayman amidst the remnants of gusty winds that swept across the islands over the past few days after what became Category 4 Hurricane Delta gave the islands an uncomfortably close shave.
The National Emergency Management Council issued the ‘All Clear’ for all three of the Cayman Islands at 1pm on Tuesday after two very tense days.
According to the Cayman Islands National Weather Service (CINWS), Delta bypassed the territory by approximately 100 miles from its centre of circulation with some squalls, gusty winds and rough seas in its wake.
The National Hazard Management Council (NHMC) noted that if Hurricane Delta had tracked any closer to the Cayman Islands, it could have had a detrimental impact as a Category 4 hurricane.
Deputy Governor Hon. Franz Manderson commented, “We have once again been spared from a devastating hurricane and we are very grateful for this near miss whilst we remained fully prepared.”
The Deputy Governor added, “We are thankful to our emergency responders and everyone assisting in the National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC) for the work they have done during the preparation leading up to and the passage of this storm, as well as the work they continue to do.”
Hon. Premier Alden McLaughlin remarked, “We in the Cayman Islands are all very thankful for the path that Hurricane Delta has taken, sparing us from its potential wrath.
“Government entities have once again demonstrated their efficiency in preparedness for this storm. We as a Government also express our sincere gratitude to the people and businesses of the Cayman Islands for their swift response and preparedness as well as their continued vigilance as we remain in a very active hurricane season.”
The Cayman Islands experienced minimal utility interruptions and by Wednesday Cayman was heading back to business as usual.
Hurricane Delta strengthened to a Category 4 on Tuesday and sped out the Cayman area shifting on a westerly course towards Cancun, Mexico.
The storm had rapidly intensified from a tropical depression to Category 4 hurricane in less than two days - a record for the already record-breaking 2020 hurricane season.
It went from a tropical depression on Sunday, to Tropical Storm Delta threatening Cayman by Monday.
By Tuesday it had developed into a major Category 4 hurricane with strong outer bands impacting Jamaica and affecting Cayman and Cuba before veering off towards the west.
One weather report described the storm as rapidly shifting into “beast mode”.
Delta is the 25th named storm of the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season which has exhausted the 21 standard names and is now into the fourth named storm in the Greek alphabet.
It will only take three more named storms to break the all-time record for the Atlantic Hurricane season. Next on the list is Epsilon followed by Zeta, the furthest weather forecasters have gone into the Greek alphabet.
The 2020 hurricane season still has about six weeks to run, ending on November 30th.