Hurricane Dorian & Castaway Cay

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Kristen K.'s picture
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Hurricane Dorian & Castaway Cay

Hurricane Dorian is set to hit Great Abaco Island as a massive Cat 5. That doesn't bode well for Castaway Cay which is only 30 miles from Great Abaco, and even closer to the Island's south side. Luckily Castaway Cay will be hit with the storm's weakest side, but the Island will take quite the hammering over the next 24 hours.

DCL currently has the following warning up for the hurricane:

"At this time, we anticipate Disney Dream will visit Disney Castaway Cay on Thursday, September 5, dependent on whether it is impacted by Hurricane Dorian."

My fingers are crossed that our little piece of paradise will still be standing after Dorian blows through.

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I just heard that in Marsh Harbor (you can see it at the very top of the map above), on the protected side of Great Abaco the storm surge is about 4ft above normal sea level. Sustained winds have been clocked at 180mph, with gusts up to 200mph eek

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Abaco Webcams can be found here

https://www.cruisin.me/cruise-port-webcams/caribbean/abaco-bahamas2/

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I've been thinking about Castaway myself. This storm is impressive, just hope it steers clear of us now.

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The following Castaway Cay Update was posted on the DCL website today:

"Many of our guests have asked questions about Castaway Cay. Some of our Crew remained on the island and their care and safety is our highest priority. We are in regular contact with island leadership, who is making sure our Crew is well taken care of in our storm shelter, which is designed for these types of situations and has restrooms, power and is well stocked with food and water. Castaway Cay remains south of the more significant weather and is currently experiencing tropical storm force winds, which based on the current forecast, are expected for the next several hours before gradually diminishing. Our thoughts are with the people in areas of The Bahamas that are being impacted by this storm and we stand ready to contribute to recovery efforts."

Watching the devastation on Great Abaco has my heart clutching to know what state Castaway Cay is in. I would give anything for some actual news about how the Cay fared. Marsh Harbor ended up with storm surge of 20 feet, the Air strip on Castaway Cay is recorded as being only 5 feet above sea level. As DCL's statement notes, Castaway Cay is on the weaker side of the hurricane, however with a record breaking Cat 5 weaker is all relative.

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It is really no different then keeping cms at the parks and resorts to help with preparing for the hurricane, help guests entertained and not worried along with cleaning up after the storm passes.

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Mandy wrote:
It is really no different then keeping cms at the parks and resorts to help with preparing for the hurricane, help guests entertained and not worried along with cleaning up after the storm passes.

Respectfully, I disagree. In general it is not the wind that makes hurricanes most dangerous (with the exception of when they spawn tornadoes) it is the water.

Lake Buena Vista is 95' above sea level, and 40 miles from the closest beach and on a peninsula. Those things put it out of the greatest dangers from a hurricane.

Castaway Cay is only 5' above sea level, is only 1,000 acres completely surrounded by water on all sides.

Hurricane Dorian produced a 23' storm surge just 30 miles north of Castaway Cay. Had the storm tracked just slightly south and hit Castaway Cay the entire island would have been submerged beneath about 18' of water. That would have taken out just about everything but the observation tower. Strictly speaking from a geographical viewpoint, that is not something that would happen at any of the Parks.

While I respect the fact that the storm shelter is designed with a Category 5 hurricane in mind, the scope of Dorian and its unpredictable natural has been historic. Unless that storm shelter is three stories high. The Bahamas have never experienced this sort of devastation before. Grand Bahama and Abaco are in complete shambles. The tragic images coming out today show nothing but destruction, and remind me of the aftermath of both Andrew and Katrina.

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All that being said.... Here's an update on the Island today.

Castaway Cay - UPDATED

"All is well at Castaway Cay. Due to the tropical storm conditions the island experienced, we have some cleaning up to do related to landscaping and will need to make minor repairs to the roof of one small covered pavilion area. We are awaiting the arrival of survey equipment to evaluate the pier and ship channel, as is required after any storm, before we are able to reopen Castaway Cay to guests."

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Kristen K. wrote:
Mandy wrote:
It is really no different then keeping cms at the parks and resorts to help with preparing for the hurricane, help guests entertained and not worried along with cleaning up after the storm passes.

Respectfully, I disagree. In general it is not the wind that makes hurricanes most dangerous (with the exception of when they spawn tornadoes) it is the water.

Lake Buena Vista is 95' above sea level, and 40 miles from the closest beach and on a peninsula. Those things put it out of the greatest dangers from a hurricane.

Castaway Cay is only 5' above sea level, is only 1,000 acres completely surrounded by water on all sides.

Hurricane Dorian produced a 23' storm surge just 30 miles north of Castaway Cay. Had the storm tracked just slightly south and hit Castaway Cay the entire island would have been submerged beneath about 18' of water. That would have taken out just about everything but the observation tower. Strictly speaking from a geographical viewpoint, that is not something that would happen at any of the Parks.

While I respect the fact that the storm shelter is designed with a Category 5 hurricane in mind, the scope of Dorian and its unpredictable natural has been historic. Unless that storm shelter is three stories high. The Bahamas have never experienced this sort of devastation before. Grand Bahama and Abaco are in complete shambles. The tragic images coming out today show nothing but destruction, and remind me of the aftermath of both Andrew and Katrina.

Okay that's a good point. I have never to been to the island. So this just leaves so many questions.

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Well, we had our brush with Dorian yesterday. I went to be Wednesday night at about 11 and it was a Cat 2 and we would get some wind and rain. I woke up at 2am to something banging on the side of the house. I got up cut off the alarm and looked outside. WHOA~~~ of course this woke up Joe and he said after I went to bed, he watched the latest report and the pressure had dropped , the winds went up and it was now a Cat 3.

I was already a bit anxious knowing how quickly a hurricane can change (Hello Hugo, I'm looking at you) and how unpredictable they are. Needless to say, I didn't go back to sleep.

We were lashed by some pretty hefty winds. The airport (5 min from our house) had gusts over 75 mph and it was steady all day. ALL DAY. From 2am to about 8pm it was non-stop. Luckily the rain was pretty non existent. Maybe 1 or 2 heavy downpours but just spitting a bit here and there all day.

We lucked out and had internet and power all day. I got out of the bath at about 815 and came in the living room with my Packers shirt yelling "I hear fooooooootballlllll!" Settled down on the couch, they got the ball and the power went out. We got the generator up and going and it eventually came back in the middle of the night.

We were spared the brunt of it and my heart still aches for the Bahamas, Hugo was a blow for us but we were able to get aid quickly due to being where we are. As do other US cities. But it still takes a while. I ca't imagine how long it will take for them. I am happy to see the cruise ships are starting to arrive with supplies!!

Is it November yet? (End of hurricane season for those that don't know) I see a couple more lined up and coming off the Africa coast already.

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"I do not like the cone of shame."

"I want adventure in the great wide somewhere. I want it more than I can tell."

"It seems to me that we have a lot of story yet to tell."

Jennifer Huotari | Create Your Badge

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Jmed that is good that you were spared and only had a little discomfort. I know how you feel. I was so anxious with Irma and Matthew.

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I'm so happy you guys made it through with fairly few issues, I was really worried about you. As I see more and more stories out of the Bahamas I'm having flashbacks to the news coverage of Katrina with all the people trying to get the very basics for survival. It's so tragic, that country is never going to be the same. A lot of how well the recovery goes will be left to how quickly the tourist industry can get up and running again. So much of that nation is built on tourism. I was happy to hear that Disney has already offered more than $1Million in aid.

https://www.thewaltdisneycompany.com/the-walt-disney-company-to-donate-more-than-1-million-to-relief-and-recovery-efforts-in-the-bahamas-2/

Here is an excerpt from that press release.

"Additionally, Disney employees with immediate needs in impacted areas of The Bahamas will have access to a range of resources. Disney Castaway Cay, which experienced only tropical force strength winds, employs more than 60 Bahamians from Abaco and Grand Bahama, as well as several employees from other Bahamian islands.

"The Bahamas is such a special place to us and our guests, and we have watched the devastation created by Hurricane Dorian with concern and heartache," Jeff Vahle, president of Disney Cruise Line said. "We stand with the Bahamian people, and especially those in Abaco and Grand Bahama, as they recover from the worst storm to ever make landfall in The Bahamas. As the needs in these communities are assessed, we are prepared to aid the relief and recovery efforts through funding, the provision of supplies and by providing support to our Bahamian Crew Members."

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Cruise ships are also being sent over to the Bahamas with supplies and volunteers to help them out.

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awesome clapping awesome

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https://

Find out more about how Disney helped here https://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/2019/11/disney-teams-up-with-disaster-relief-agencies-to-support-recovery-efforts-in-the-bahamas/