According to the 2000 census, there were then fewer than 1000 people on Great Inaqua.  I imagine that the number on the island now is at least 1,100 – depending partly upon how well their salt industry has been fairing over the last few years.  The small island took a direct hit.  There are reports that Grand Turk Island was hit very hard and that perhaps 80% of the dwellings have been destroyed.

To learn more about Great Inagua Island go to

When something like this happens my mental gratitude list is very much at the forefront of my thinking. I think to myself and sometimes utter out loud, “There but for the grace of God go I.”  Do I have a point in that remark?  Yes.  The rest of us in hurricane territory are not immune in any way to such disasters.  If the majority of our happiness is derived from “things” – the possessions that we have, including our dwellings and our vehicles – we need to think in terms of deriving our happiness from within.

After hurricane Andrew I momentarily (just for a few seconds) thought in terms of having lost almost everything.  The truth was that I was well insured and that my work-site was not harmed enough to go “out of business.”  I had a job and at that time my employer was very understanding about absenteeism for the first couple of weeks while we were getting our lives back to some semblance of order.  So – not one of us was scratched because we had the sense and the means to evacuate before the storm hit – we were well insured – and I could afford to purchase a small travel trailer to live in for the year it took to have the house rebuilt.  Compared to the tent cities with the mud and stress, our little travel trailer for the four of us was a palace.  After the electricity came back (5 weeks) it was even better!

I doubt that the people of the islands blasted by Ike are so lucky.  I hope no one was hurt or killed – but it doesn’t seem likely that they all could have escaped that fate, considering how strong the storm is.  Now, people of Cuba and the Florida Keys are in harm’s way.  Let’s hope that all in the Keys complied with the evacuation order.

5 comments so far

  1. Georgewins on

    I have been to Matthewtown on Great Inagua. It’s a nice little town with quality people who aren’t jaded by millions of U.S. tourists. I hope the harbor mistress Donna is okay.

  2. Captain Bill in Florida on

    Does anyone have a contact on Inagua ? Is there any word as to what is left ? How did the birds and people survive ?

  3. cloudman23 on

    A reader wrote in earlier on the 8th:

    “According to the local television station (ZNS) Sunday evening, they were still waiting to hear from the National Trust person who lived near there. Someone spoke from the National Trust and advised that birds know when bad weather is coming and they would most likely go into the Mangroves and hide. They also advised that they have started colonies in 2 or 3 other islands so if they did lose eveything they would still have birds in other places. Unfortunately, the birds in Inagua have not seen a storn im a century (100 years) so it is not known for sure what will happen. We, in Nassau, are praying for them.”

    Comps. Cloudman23

  4. Traci on

    To Captain Bill and All Who Are Interested,

    I just came back from Inagua in October 2008. I was there to help with hurricane relief and I helped re roof homes while I was there. The damage was extensive to many homes but like most things some were hit much harder than others.
    In general the plan was to re roof the elderly first then the single moms or families that had no one else to rely on and then go on down the list.
    The flamingos were affected some but there were still lots of the beuatiful birds on the island.
    There were also gorgeous parrots and osprey birds.
    AS well as wild donkey.
    The people survived remarkably well and the town
    did as well. The stores and things were not up and running at full cxapacity yet but on a limited schedule but at least they were open for a few hours a day.
    Everyone was pulling together and getting things
    It was still a beautiful place and I had the time
    of my life there.
    I hope this helps. The kids were back in school and most were back at work.

  5. Captain stephen Fawkes on

    My website is who wish to visit Great Inagua or would like to know about the Island can visit my website.I reply to my emails promptly and can answers most your questions about the Island.

    Captain Fawkes

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