Saba suffered very few effects due to the passage of Tropical Storm Gonzalo, which passed just north of the island in the afternoon on Monday, October 13. With the storm defying initial forecasts, which had it passing approximately less than 50 miles south of the island, there was much less impact from wind and rain than was anticipated. Activity was most notable during the afternoon hours and becoming relatively calm in the evening hours. At 11:00pm the Met Office issued its last advisory on Gonzalo.
Rain and Wind
Despite forecasts from the Met Office that called for approximately 4-8 inches of rain, unofficial reports indicate that less than 1.5 inches of rain fell during the passage of storm. It is estimated that maximum winds on Saba were approximately 71 miles an hour, slightly less than hurricane strength.
The lack of any major impact from the storm meant that the island’s infrastructure was left relatively unscathed. There were some small rock falls in some areas, which were quickly removed by the Department of Public Works. There was also some debris from trees on the road due to the higher than normal winds.
Both the harbor and the airport received no damage and are ready to receive traffic once connections from neighboring islands resume. The beach on Cove Bay was devastated by the onslaught of waves generated by the storm.
Electricity provider, Saba Electric Company, reported that there were power outages in some isolated areas, but the company continued to operate throughout the storm
Local telephone provider, Satel, suffered no damage to their network and service remained available. Mobile customers did experience some problems, however these were related to the damage sustained by the network providers in St. Maarten.
Island Governor Jonathan Johnson said, “The Executive Council is grateful that we were able to weather this storm with very little damage. Our thoughts are with those on our sister island of St. Maarten, who sustained significantly more damage.”
“Despite the uncertainty of the intensity and the track of the storm, I am glad to see that persons on the island took the threat seriously and took the necessary precautions to safeguard their homes and their family, notwithstanding the fact that until this point it was a relatively uneventful season,” the Island Governor stated. He also cautioned persons to remain vigilant during the remainder of the hurricane season so that they can take action when necessary.