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ARRL General Bulletin ARLB076 (1998)

ARLB076 Hurricane Georges hits Puerto Rico and moves on

QST de W1AW  
ARRL Bulletin 76  ARLB076
From ARRL Headquarters  
Newington CT  September 22, 1998
To all radio amateurs 

ARLB076 Hurricane Georges hits Puerto Rico and moves on

Reports from the Caribbean indicate the worst is over in Puerto Rico
in the wake of Hurricane Georges, which wreaked extensive damage to
the island Commonwealth.  ''It looks like Puerto Rico took it pretty
hard,'' said Hurricane Watch Net Manager Jerry Herman, N3BDW, in

The Hurricane Watch Net is active on 14.325 MHz and receiving
reports on the storm's progress and effects.  The storm is headed
for landfall today on the island of Hispaniola, which includes the
Dominican Republic and Haiti.  Herman said the storm should lose
some strength as it moves over the mountains there today, but added
that it could regain strength once it clears Hispaniola.
In Puerto Rico, Ruth Madera, KP4ENJ, near San Juan reported ''trees
are down by the hundreds'' and some roofs were damaged.  The
apartment house where she and her husband Victor, KP4PQ, live
suffered minimal damage, but the estimated 110 MPH winds shook the
building, Madera said.  Victor Madera, an ARES member, said local
hams made use of KP4ES at the National Weather Service.  He said
there was not much rain, but heavy rain is forecast.  ''We have the
SKYWARN group working, we have ARES working,'' he said.

Tens of thousands of Caribbean residents took refuge in shelters.
''This time, the residents went to the shelters the day before,''
Victor Madera said.  At least five people died in Puerto Rico.
Another death was reported on St Kitts.  The storm churned up 20
foot waves, knocked over power lines, broke windows, downed trees,
and blew away roofs.  Victor Madera said power is out at his
location, and they have no water either.  But telephone service has
been mostly operational, minimizing the need for ham radio backup.

In the Netherlands Antilles, Don McGehee, PJ8DM, reported a 175 MPH
wind gust on Saba when the storm passed by earlier this week.  Some
damage was reported in the British Virgin Islands, but the US Virgin
Islands reportedly suffered only minimal damage.

Virginia ARES has activated to provide the American Red Cross
Headquarters near Washington, DC, with communication support
associated with Hurricane Georges.  The Level III activation is a
general callup (CQ) for emergency assistance, according to Virginia
ARES/RACES Director Frank Mackey, K4EC.  ARES membership in the
activation area should contact their ARES officials or
representatives as soon as possible.  Local repeaters should be
monitored for assistance requests and notifications.

As part of this callup, Virginia hams will monitor various emergency
nets and report via the Internet or packet relevant information
through Virginia ARES to the Red Cross.  The Red Cross uses the
information to plan its disaster response.


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