Interview with Author Wayne Neely

My guest today is Wayne Neely.  Hello!  Welcome to Writing in the Modern Age!  It’s such a pleasure to have you.

Can you tell us a little bit about your latest book? When did it come out? Where can we get it?

This book is based on the Great Bahamas Hurricane of 1929 - the greatest hurricane in Bahamian history. This storm killed 134 persons in the Bahamas, mostly mariners and sponge fishermen, as it directly hit the islands of New Providence and Andros. This storm lasted for three consecutive days as the storm remained almost stationary (2 mph) over the NW Bahamas.

This hurricane devastated the northwest Bahamas and impacted the economy of the Bahamas for years to follow. This storm occurred during the peak of the sponging era. Many boats were out at sea on sponging trips and were caught at sea during this storm not knowing a massive storm was approaching the Bahamas and many persons perished on board these ships. For example, a large American freighter Wisconsin Bridge was lost in the hurricane with 34 persons on-board perishing. A bride and her family of 18 persons were heading to Mangrove Cay Andros to attend her wedding and sadly all persons on board the schooner they were traveling in drowned during the peak of the storm. A dog called ‘Speak Your Mind’ rescued a sponge fisherman out at sea. This book is filled with many similar stories of this nature. This book is a must read. 

The book is now available locally at Logos Bookstore in the Harbour Bay Shopping Center, Cole Thompson Pharmacy Downtown, Chapter One Bookstore opposite the College of the Bahamas, Book World and Stationers Mackey Street, LPIA Concessions Store in the Domestic Terminal, Concessions Store in Atlantis Hotel and other local bookstores. 

For those not in the Bahamas it is available from the publisher, and and many other online and local bookstores throughout the United States, Canada and Europe as a hardback, softcover or e-book.

The highlights of this massive storm:

1)     This storm killed 134 persons and well over 5,000 were left homeless in New Providence (The population of New Providence in 1929 was approximately 13,000 persons). On this island 456 houses were destroyed and 640 were badly damaged. Approximately 73% of all the homes and businesses in Nassau were destroyed.

2)     This storm lasted for three consecutive days.

3)     95% of all of the churches in Nassau and all of the churches in Andros were destroyed. Approximately 77% of the Government’s Annual Budgets in 1930 and 1931 were devoted to the rebuilding efforts from this hurricane.

4)     70% of all of the sponge vessels throughout the Bahamas were destroyed in this storm (Sponging Industry was the number one industry of the Bahamas at the time).

5)     This storm was one of the main reasons why the government of the Bahamas switched from Sponging to Tourism as the number one industry of the Bahamas (It must be noted that the major reason for the decline was the sponge disease which decimated the sponge beds in 1938). This hurricane destroyed almost all of the sponge warehouses and 336 sponge vessels and twice that amount being badly damaged.  

6)     This hurricane was the main reason why building codes were implemented shortly after this storm because of the great damage done. The Bahamas Government realized that these homes being constructed were no match for the powerful storms in the late 1920s so they implemented building codes to help mitigate the losses caused by these hurricanes.

7)     The song “Run Come See Jerusalem” by Blind Blake was based of the destruction caused by this storm. Three boats bound for Andros, the Ethel, Myrtle, and Pretoria, were caught in the storm. The Pretoria sunk, and 27 lives were lost when it sunk at the entrance of Fresh Creek Harbour Channel. Unfortunately, only three lives were saved from this ship, and they were Yorick Newton of Blanket Sound, Victor Spence of Small Hope Bay and Henley Brown of Blanket Sound. These ‘lucky three’, as they were referred to at the time, were able to swim ashore after the Pretoria capsized.

Is there anything that prompted your latest book? Something that inspired you?

As a child, I grew up on the Island of South Andros in the Bahamas and I often listened to my parents, grandparents and members of the community talking about this great storm and the impact it had on the Bahamas at the time. That piqued my interest and when I became a meteorologist in my country, I did further research on this storm and realized that this was in fact one of the greatest storms to impact this country. So I felt compelled to write about this storm and the great impact it had on the islands of the Bahamas.

When did you know you wanted to write?  Or has it always been a pastime of yours?

Actually, I wrote several articles and their annual hurricane supplement in our local newspapers and after the great response to them, I decided to try my hand at writing my first hurricane book.

Do you have any favorite authors?

James Patterson and Myles Munroe. 

Do you write in a specific place?  Time of day?

Yes, at home in my office and I guess fellow writers will perhaps feel the same way, but I write at any hour of the day or night when I get that 'special' feeling or a 'tip' that I feel would contribute greatly to the book.  

Are there any words you'd like to impart to fellow writers?  Any advice? 

Just believe in yourself and follow your dreams where ever they may take you on that ride called "Life".

Good advice!
Readers, here is the blurb for The Great Bahamas Hurricane of 1929.

The Great Bahamas Hurricane of 1929, also known as the Great Andros Island Hurricane of 1929, was the only major hurricane during the very inactive 1929 North Atlantic hurricane season. The Great Bahamas Hurricane of 1929 was perhaps one of the greatest and deadliest hurricanes to impact the Bahamas and is often regarded as the greatest Bahamian hurricane of the twentieth century. It was the only storm on record to last for three consecutive days over the Bahamas, with pounding torrential rainfall and strong, gusty winds. The storm killed 134 persons in the Bahamas, mostly mariners and sponge fishermen, as it directly hit the islands of Nassau and Andros.
This thoroughly researched history considers this intense storm and its aftermath, offering an exploration of an important historical weather event that has been neglected in previous study. Also included is a harrowing account of a dog called Speak Your Mind who rescued a sponge fisherman at sea.
Through unique historical photographs of actual damage, author and veteran meteorologist Wayne Neely shows the widespread devastation left in the wake of this tremendous storm. Drawing upon many newspaper accounts, ship reports, and Family Island Commissioners reports from throughout the Bahamas, the author provides a fascinating glimpse of this hurricane and the devastation it caused the Bahamas.

Here is an excerpt: 

Many years ago, when I had the idea to write the first volume of The Great Bahamas Hurricane of 1929, I did something unique and different from many local authors. I traveled to many of the islands in the Bahamas to interview numerous persons who had experienced this storm. One thing that surprised me back then was how great an impact this storm had on their lives. Many of them cried as they related their stories of this storm, and others recalled with great details the impact of this storm. The majority of the persons I’ve interviewed have since passed on, but thankfully I was able to extract from them a vital part of Bahamian history. This information will be passed on for future generations of Bahamians to realize and appreciate how great an impact this storm had on the Bahamas at the time.

     Devastating and deadly hurricanes, like this one in 1929 are nothing new to the Bahamas. For example, in September of 1866, a destructive hurricane struck the Bahamas killing 387 persons. In 1899, another deadly hurricane wreaked havoc here in the Bahamas, killing over 334 persons. Then in July 1926, a massive hurricane struck the Bahamas at peak intensity of 140 mph, killing 268 persons. As these events illustrate, Earth is a restless planet, a work in progress, where hurricanes can wreak havoc on both the most advanced and the most impoverished islands here in the Bahamas. This book will explore all aspects of this deadly hurricane, which occurred in 1929 and lay claim to 134 victims. Furthermore, I will also explore all aspects of hurricanes and illuminate the science behind them. Additionally, I will seek to astonish and educate many residents, as I investigate and explain the meteorological processes behind hurricanes.

     The Great Bahamas Hurricane of 1929 never had a name because the naming system we presently use did not exist at the time. Today, most people know this hurricane as “the Great Bahamas Hurricane of 1929,” “the Storm or Gale of 1929,” “the Great Bahama Storm,” “the Three-day Storm,” or “the Great Andros Hurricane of 1929.” Whichever name you mention, chances are those who were unlucky enough to be around at that time would know exactly what you were referring to. And in most cases, they would give a detailed account of what took place on those fateful three days of utter destruction and mayhem. To the average Bahamian at the time, this hurricane had a tremendous impact. As such, it deserves a much bigger place in Bahamian history than it currently holds. Chances are that most young people will not know of this storm, and while older people may have heard about it from their parents or grandparents, they probably won’t know much about what happened. This book will educate readers about this hurricane and the impact that it had on the Bahamian Islands. I believe this storm deserves more than just a footnote, bookmark or sentence in Bahamian history.
     English and Spanish colonizers of the New World expected to encounter a harsh and threatening physical environment. The deep, dark forests, the unexpectedly extreme climate, the unknown flora and fauna - all were perceived as menacing and potentially disruptive to the colonial explorers. But perhaps nothing was more threatening to colonists in the Caribbean than the powerful and deadly hurricanes and tropical storms. These storms regularly swept across the region, devastating cities and leveling plantations, disrupting trade and commerce, and plunging society into general disarray. Hurricanes were an entirely new phenomenon for the early Spanish and English colonial explorers, and these explorers and colonists learned the hard way in which these storms devastated their new-found homes here in the Caribbean. Fortunately, over the years we’ve come a long way in our understanding and appreciation of the nature and character of these deadly storms. It is a great storm like this one in 1929 that allowed us as meteorologists to use this deadly storm as a template to help forecast future storms and in the final analysis help to save lives.
    Each day, it seems as if there is a new report or article published regarding changes in weather, climate, global warning, or even a new storm that ravaged some remote or populated corner of the Earth. Claims of a hotter planet, a stormier ocean, more violent winters, more frequent hurricanes, never before have we been more tuned in to the local and international weather reports. Is it that the weather is more severe, as some experts claim, or is it simply that we have more access to weather news? Today, we have more access to weather news, 24-hour cable TV channels dedicated solely to weather, stronger emphasis in newspapers, magazines, the Internet, and news stations, and they all reminds us of how vulnerable we are to the weather. It has a lot to do with the fact that advanced technology has allowed weather forecasters and scientists to broadcast the latest weather information within seconds, but the technology of forecasting and the unilateral communications between countries - even the most remote - has never been better. So it can be said that readers, viewers, and everyday people have never been more aware of their surroundings, thanks to improvements in technology. Nowadays, Bahamians can watch hurricanes like Wilma of 2005, Frances of 2004 or Irene of 2011 raging through the Bahamas from their living rooms. They can watch film footage of storm surge or flood damage along the coast of Grand Bahama or some other populated island of the Bahamas. So, now is a great time to be engaged in why the weather is important, not only here in the Bahamas where I live, but all over the planet.
    Hurricanes are born over the warm waters of the North Atlantic. As the summer sun heats down on the oceans, the warm water vapour rises into the atmosphere, forming cumulonimbus clouds. Rich with moisture and energy from the ocean, these clouds may combine to form vast, low pressure whirlpools. Strong winds start the clouds spinning; in the Northern Hemisphere, the spin is counterclockwise because of the Coriolis Effect. This is an apparent curving motion of anything, such as wind, caused by the Earth's rotation. It was first described in 1835 by French scientist Gustave-Gaspard Coriolis. Such tropical depressions generally move west, then northwest, gathering energy and moisture as they travel throughout the region. When a tropical depression develops to the point at which the maximum sustained winds reach a speed of 75 miles an hour, it is classified as a hurricane. In this stage, the storm begins a west or northwest track, gathering additional energy from the warm tropical waters of the North Atlantic. Evaporation of surface waters feeds water vapour into the ascending currents of the storm. In the meantime, the atmospheric pressure continues to drop and the eye forms, eventually becoming a full-fledged hurricane destroying any and everything in its path.
    By definition, hurricanes are out of the ordinary, the antitheses of our everyday lives during the summer months. Meteorologists, scholars and even students concerned with the slower, steadier rhythms of hurricanes of the past and present realize that when it comes to hurricanes, we should try to avoid them, and then if that is not possible we should make all of the necessary preparations for the impending storm and then bunker down in a home or some hurricane shelter and witness one of nature’s most awesome atmospheric shows. But if studying hurricanes allows us to observe these familiar patterns at moments of heightened danger, it also invites us to see that the ‘normal’ workings of culture, society, and politics are far from smooth. Hurricanes evoke the defense of established ways precisely because they so dramatically reveal the challenges to established ways.
     As the September hurricane drew near, old-timers lifted their heads, studying the birds’ movement and other animals’ behavior, sky and the small, fast-moving low clouds called scuds, sniffing the air, peering at the sea. There were signs of approaching trouble; something was brewing, but what? Most of them never expected a storm of this magnitude and duration, considering they had just been struck by several deadly storms within the space of three years. Many persons after experiencing this storm wondered if this was an omen from the gods or the Almighty God, because these storms were striking the Bahamas too frequently. Today’s thorough hurricane warnings were unheard of in 1929 and for some years thereafter. To make matters worse, many persons on the Out Islands had very limited advanced warnings, and in some instance none at all. In fact, in 1928, another deadly hurricane struck the Bahamas, killing over 18 persons. It was not a killer storm like this one, but it brought to Nassau British Royalty, Prince George, the youngest son of King George V and Queen Mary, who was serving with the Royal Navy. His ship, attached to Bermuda and West Indies Station, was sent to lend assistance to this hurricane-prone colony. The excitement was great, as His Royal Highness Prince George was the first member of a British Royal Family to pay us a visit in almost seventy years, when Queen Victoria’s youngest son, Prince Albert, spent a short time in Nassau. He, too, came in a ship of the Royal Navy.   
     Prior to 1929, before the development of modern methods for tracking weather, people had little warning that a dangerous and powerful storm was bearing down upon them. Today, storms are watched carefully from the moment they first begin to form near the African Coast to the time they hit some country in the Caribbean, Central or North America. Weather satellites in geostationary orbit above the equator can keep a constant watch on the areas where these storms are born. When a storm is spotted, ‘Hurricane Reconnaissance Aircrafts’ are dispatched to investigate the area. The aircraft fly directly into the growing storm, at a significant risk to the pilot and scientists abroad, to collect data on pressure, temperature, humidity, wind speed and direction, and rainfall. As the storm approaches land, radars also track it continuously. Each change in the storm’s track is noted in order to predict the storm’s exact landfall and give area residents the earliest possible warning of the approaching storm.
     The autumn of 1929 arrived, and with it came a raging devil of a storm. A hurricane was known to be east of the islands of the Bahamas Islands and appeared to be passing to the north. It turned in a southwesterly direction and bore down on Nassau and other islands in the Northwest Bahamas. It shook the long-suffering capital and the settlements of Fox Hill, Adelaide, Gambier and others like a crazed thing. For three consecutive days, the winds blew from the northeast. The rain lashed at houses and trees, at gardens and crops, at docks and boats. Nothing was sacred to this storm. Churches lost their roofs or were blown to bits-along with dance pavilions. The scene in the city was chaotic. Royal palms stood bravely, their tops frizzled like the hair of rock ‘n’ roll singers. Sponge beds and flamingo breeding grounds at Andros, directly in the hurricane’s path, were almost washed away.

     This gigantic storm departed Nassau and then went on to devastate the island of Andros, leaving a massive death toll in its wake. The history of Andros can be traced back to pre-Columbus times, when the island was inhabited by the Lucayan Indians. The early inhabitants of the island were known as the invisible people because no one could see them due to the fact that they coated themselves with a special mud comprising the blue-green algae found on the island. That made them invisible in sunlight and only visible under ultraviolet light. When the Europeans came to the island, they saw evidence of human inhabitants but could not see them. The first recorded "discovery" of Andros—or "La Isla del Espiritu Santo" (The Island of the Holy Spirit) as the Spanish named it—was in 1550 while they were searching for slave labour. They referred to the island by that name because of its vast forest and the interplay of land and water, which made Andros one of the truly unique and mystical land forms in the Caribbean at the time. However, by 1782, the island was called San Andreas, possibly named after the 1,400 inhabitants of St. Andreas Island off the Mosquito Coast who came to inhabit the island in 1787. Although no one really knows for sure, the modern name Andros is believed to be in honor of Sir Edmond Andros, Commander of His Majesty’s Forces in Barbados in 1672.
     Several factors are involved in why storms become extreme or great, including their strength, frequency, duration, and most importantly-who’s in the storm’s path. Sure, we all see the damage of extreme storms (such as what this one in 1929 caused), but how they form can be somewhat of a guessing game. Meteorologists have a good lead on why most weather goes bad, but not always. And it’s not just Mother Nature who controls the spin of a storm. Man also has a hand in some of the heavy weather and climate changes planet Earth has been witness to. Weather might be all around us, but where ‘great’ hurricanes strike is the last place you want to be around. Each year, hurricanes kill and injure thousands of people and cause billions of dollars in damage worldwide. Tragedy could be averted with a good dose of common sense and an eye toward the forecast, but severe hurricanes are complicated systems of nature because hurricanes are notoriously unpredictable, especially when it comes to the track and intensity of these systems because they can bring a major city or even a country to its knees. Add to the fray that more people than ever are over-crowding the coastal areas of countries within this region, and you have the perfect recipe for great devastation of cataclysmic proportions. Storm damages in the Bahamas in the busy 2004 and 2005 seasons stretched into over 300 million dollars, and flooding in low-lying areas further exacerbated the devastation.

     People have tried to forecast the weather for at least as long as there has been recorded history. All modern forecasting methods involve observations of current conditions, along with a combination of historical data, scientific method, and computer modeling. Before people had instruments to measure parameters such as temperature, humidity, and barometric pressure, there were ways in which the weather could be forecast, or at least ways in which attempts at forecasting could be made. People noticed that certain observations or events were usually followed by fair weather, while other observations or events were usually followed by foul weather. Here in the Bahamas, many of the older folks looked at the large flock of birds flying in from many of the cays back to the mainland as a sign of an approaching storm. While others simply looked at the behavior of other animals such as, pigs, goats, dogs and cats to determine whether there was an approaching hurricane over that island. Tropical storms and hurricanes have been influencing people for centuries, but only in the past one hundred years have we been able to track their progress with increasing proficiency. Each tropical cyclone we monitor contributes to our very short hurricane climatology. Memorable hurricanes such as the Great Bahamas Hurricane of 1929 have left their mark on coastal areas, towns, and people around the world. Some devastating hurricanes have been ‘retired.’ Their names will no longer be used for future storms. Other names are repeated every six years in the North Atlantic.
     The term ‘hurricane’ refers generally to a revolving storm that forms over tropical waters of the North Atlantic, where the sustained winds exceed 74mph. Such hurricanes are about 300 to 500 miles across and can cause widespread damage on landfall. Hurricanes are the most widely publicized of all storms. They occur every year in this hemisphere and form over these warm waters of the tropics and subtropics, but they often end up in the temperate regions, where they die out or merge with some mid-latitude system...

      In the Bahamas, the hurricane destroyed the Ministry of Education mansion in Nassau, which was shortly rebuilt after the storm. Offshore, the wreckage of a steamship that sank during the storm was blown up because it was a hazard to shipping. In Florida, the damage from the hurricane knocked out rail service for a week. The United States Coast Guard provided mail service to Key West, an area hit hard by the hurricane. A special session was held by the House of Assembly from October 16 - 24, 1929, to assess damage and reconstruction needs. The members voted to support a measure authorizing expenditure to provide hurricane relief throughout the islands of the Bahamas. It was reported that in Nassau, 456 houses were destroyed and 640 were damaged, and this comprised about seventy-three percent of all homes and businesses. Certain sections of the hospital were so badly damaged that they had to be demolished and rebuilt. Long Wharf was totally destroyed. The roof of the police barracks was blown off, and large sections of the prison roof were blown away. For their own safety, 40 prisoners were released. The rebuilding of the prison was considered one of the most costly repairs. Potter’s Cay was divided into two sections by the flood waters. There was a significant rise in food items and building supplies after the storm. After the hurricane, there was also a significant shortage of qualified carpenters throughout the island and as a result many of the qualified carpenters were charging exorbitant fees to get the work done. This forced the government to consider enacting a law to prevent this practice from happening in the future.
     The eastern wing of Government House was unroofed on three sides and damaged to the extent that it was not fit for occupancy. His Excellency the Administrator and the Hon. Mrs. Dundas were in grave danger throughout the storm by pieces of falling roof, debris, crumbling ceiling and flying timber when whole sections of Government House blew in. Immediately after the storm, work began to restore Government House to its former glory. 

    Nine persons died in the capital of Nassau, and of the nine persons three died from drowning; the others died of various causes. Among the dead were Patrick Carr, age 34, an unidentified man buried by the Police, and another unidentified man drowned in the hurricane. Martha Green, age 45, Nathaniel Dean at Delaporte. Nathaniel Dean drowned near Laboushire while attempting to obtain food from the next village for the people of Gambier, who had ran out of supplies. Two additional unidentified bodies’ locations unknown were taken to the hospital. An expedition was sent to Athol Island after the storm in the boat ‘Caroline’, headed by Dr. Cruickshank and Police Officer Lancaster. It was there that they found one death, 30 persons marooned and several persons injured. Constable Thompson’s baby was killed and his wife’s leg was broken while the family was fleeing from their home. Thompson had his wife on his arm and his baby on his back. The house fell at their heels; the baby was knocked from his back and crushed to death. Thompson took the limp body of his baby from under the debris and carried it away for a respectable burial.        
     In Nassau, there was chaos everywhere. Gardens, orchards and fields were devastated and to make matters worse, this was the fifth hurricane in the span of only three years to devastate the Bahamas. Few people throughout Andros and Nassau were unaffected. Crops everywhere were destroyed. Not a bird could be seen. Robert “Robbie” Burnside, who was in charge of the public gardens and the entire horticultural department of the Public Works department for years, was sent to Jamaica to obtain pairs of suitable wild birds to re-populate bird life in New Providence. Telephones were not operable, and telegraphs were also not able to be sent for quite a while after the storm. Also, the Board of Agriculture wrote to Jamaica and Trinidad, requesting a supply of an early maturing crop of vegetables commonly used in the Bahamas. This board also advised persons to plant the kind of vegetables they eat first before planting for the market. Many telephones were so bent, they had to be replaced, and major road repairs were required. Only a select few Out Island settlements had wireless stations, and overseas telephone calls were a long way off in the future. Various bodies, such as the Infant Welfare Association, the Bahamas Humane Society, the Wesleyan Methodist Missionary Society and the Daughters of the Empire all organized significant relief for the victims of the storm.
     The east wall of Fort Montagu collapsed, and the canons tumbled down a considerable distance from where they were located. Western Esplanade was totally devastated after the storm as several large rock boulders and mounds of sand were washed onto the main thoroughfare. Many of the coastlines throughout the island of New Providence were completely altered, and many of the foreshores looked completely different than they did prior to the storm. In many cases, the road itself had been eaten into and torn up and debris large and small littered the highway. Everywhere along the route, battered and broken houses were to be seen on both sides of the road. On Village and Fox Hill Roads, there was a trail of devastation as all of the houses were destroyed. In some cases, there were still bits of furniture exposed among the debris. The telephones were also bent at right angles to the ground. Love and Charity Hall, one of the local meeting places, was reduced to rubbles. The Fox Hill fruit trees, which were both the pride and the main source of living of the neighbourhood, were blown down and the fruits destroyed. On Hog Island (now Paradise Island), the houses belonging to Mr. Philip Goster and Mr. Davis were swept away by the hurricane. The entire top of Mr. E.V. Solomon’s house in East Bay Street was blown off. A stone house on East Street two or three hundred yards east of the Parade was completely collapsed with the exception of one room on the upper floor, which had no external wall to it.
    Mr. Holmes’ house on Bay Street was considerably damaged by water, and the kitchen was destroyed. The house of Ms. MacDonald, at the corner of East and Shirley Streets, lost part of its roof, including a dormer window that was blown right off. Mr. G.K.K. Brace’s house, on the Montagu Foreshore, lost its front porch. The new warehouse that was being erected on Charlotte Street for Mr. Damianos had reached the ‘skeleton’ stage when the storm struck it, and it collapsed on its struts. Mrs. Twynam’s home in East Shirley Street had its roof blown off and the walls badly damaged. Two other houses owned and rented by Mrs. Twynam on Mackey Street were unroofed, and in both cases the walls were badly damaged.
     The sponge warehouse of Mr. G. Christolulacis on Bay Street was reported to be entirely demolished. A sponge warehouse on Heathfield Street belonging to Mr. Th. Tiliacos was so badly twisted that it had to be taken down and rebuilt. Several houses on Shirley Slope had been badly damaged, as had several of the garages there. Mr. Adams, who was in charge of the Industrial School, had his house damaged when a large tree fell on the roof. The tenants of Sturrup’s cottage, near the Fort Montagu Hotel, found themselves surrounded by water and floating in their home during the storm; they eventually got into a boat and drifted into the house of Mr. Henderson Butler. The roof of ‘The Hermitage’ on the Coast Road several miles east of Nassau was reported to have been blown off. The residence of Mr. George Oliver on Montagu Foreshore roof was blown off. The Wesleyan Day School in Grant’s Town was considerably damaged. A two-story building owned by Mr. William Dorsett from ‘Over-The-Hill’ was completely destroyed.  Home Furniture store on Bay Street was badly damaged, and some of the furniture was destroyed; others had to be sold at a reduced price.
     The roof of Ebenezer Chapel was blown off. The roof of Trinity Church also blew off. Several small boats were flung or floated on to East Bay Street. The roof of St. Ann’s Church was blown off and the building completely destroyed. Two of the ‘Jumper Churches’ (Brother Enis and Brother Stanley’s) in Grant’s Town were demolished; two in the Freetown district were also leveled with the ground. The walls of Wesleyan meeting place were destroyed, and the building itself was leaning and the inside affected by flood waters. Salem Baptist Church on Parliament Street had its frontage badly torn and there was a gaping hole on top of the building. For a while after the storm, the services were conducted in the ruins of the church under a torn roof. The walls and the roof of Zion Baptist Church fell in, and the structure was more or less totally demolished. After the storm, the congregation of Zion Baptist Church on East and Shirley Street had to worship for months at Aurora Hall on Charlotte Street. A portion of the roof of St. Matthew’s Church was blown off, the walls cracked, and the inside of the church was flooded in the storm. The roof was blown off St. Mary’s Church in Virginia Street. The Seventh Day Adventists Church on East Shirley Street’s roof and building were destroyed.  About 300 people were sheltered in Our Lady’s Chapel, the Roman Catholic Church in Grant’s Town, throughout the storm, and many of them remained there for several weeks after the storm because their homes were destroyed in the storm. After the passage of the hurricane, the Sisters of Charity at St. Francis Xaviers Convent visited the poor districts and distributed food and clothing to the needy from their funds.

Such an interesting account of this storm, Wayne!  Thank you for providing such an informative experience.
Author Bio 

Wayne Neely is an international speaker, best-selling author, lecturer on hurricanes, and a meteorologist. Traveling extensively, Wayne addresses critical issues affecting all aspects of hurricanes, especially Bahamian and Caribbean hurricanes which are two of his central areas of expertise. He travels often to speak to colleges and universities on the impact of hurricanes on the region and worldwide, global warming and climate change. Locally he speaks quite regularly to schools on hurricanes. He held two major hurricane exhibitions on Bahamian hurricanes in the past. Wayne Neely is a certified Bahamian Meteorologist working at the Department of Meteorology in Nassau, Bahamas for the last 24 years. He studied at the College of the Bahamas and majored in Geography and History. He then attended the Caribbean Meteorological Institute in Barbados and earned his Forecaster's Degree. He has written and published eight books on hurricanes and his ninth book due out next month "The Great Okeechobee Hurricane of 1928". 

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