Beginning the early hours of Wednesday morning and carrying on for much of the day, the Cayman Islands experienced its first big storm of the season when Hurricane Grace battered the islands as a tropical storm. With trees down, debris clogging roads, power out for much of the island and various places without water, Cayman missed the eye of the storm by a matter of miles yet still suffered a bruising from the heavy rain and winds in excess of 65mph. As it passed by Cayman, 65 miles west of Grand Cayman moving west-northwest at about 15mph, the storm intensified to a Category 1 hurricane, with winds of 75mph.
While power was out across the island, CUC reported that as at 8am there was no significant damage to its generation plant or feeders that serve the districts of GeorgeTown and West Bay. George Town was also able to keep its water on. Once conditions were deemed safe, CUC said it would begin inspection of the damage to determine the restoration times and advise customers. CUC said restoring power to critical services would be its priority. People were urged to report any downed power lines as they see them.
Government offices remained closed Wednesday as did banks, with only Government workers undertaking emergency jobs in office, while the National Emergency Operations Committee began working overnight Tuesday to coordinate emergency operations.The Cayman Islands Regiment was required to be deployed in order to evacuate some West Bay residents whose homes had been hit by the storm.
Hurricane Grace was expected to strengthen as it crossed the Yucatan Peninsular and then further on to the Gulf of Mexico.