A visit was made to Grenada on 01.12.99 by the Consultant, Dr. Gillian Cambers, in order to assess the beach erosion damage following Hurricane Lenny and to make recommendations for the rehabilitation of the beach. The visit was arranged by Mr. Francis McBarnette, Director of the Organization of American States (OAS) Grenada and was jointly funded by the OAS/Caribbean Planning for Adaptation to Climate Change (CPACC) project and the UNESCO/Caribbean Development Bank project on Institutional Strengthening in Beach Management in the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States and the Turks and Caicos Islands.
The itinerary for the visit is shown in Appendix I. During the visit the entire length of Grand Anse was assessed, as well as beaches at Morne Rouge and Lance Aux Epines.OBSERVATIONS AND ASSESSMENT
Between 14th and 20th November, 1999, Hurricane Lenny moved in a west to east direction across the Caribbean Sea, from an area north of Colombia to the Lesser Antilles. Between 16th and 17th November, Hurricane Lenny reached Category 4 strength with sustained winds of 240 km/hour (150 mph). The storm passed south of Puerto Rico and just south of St. Croix before stalling on 18th November near Anguilla and St. Maarten. Reports of more than 49 cm (20 inches) of rainfall were received from St. Maarten. Between 19th and 20th November the system headed southeast down the Atlantic side of the Lesser Antilles before heading out into the North Atlantic Ocean in a northeast direction. This hurricane was unusual for two reasons: firstly its direction was predominantly from west to east (a once in a century occurrence); secondly its strength was very unusual for so late in the hurricane season (only four other storms reached category 3 or higher strength during the month of November this century).
This hurricane generated severe swells which affected all the territories bordering the Caribbean Sea: the Greater Antilles, the Lesser Antilles, the coast of Venezuela and the Netherlands Antilles (Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao).Effects of Hurricane Lenny on Grand Anse
Between 16th and 19th November, high waves 4 5 m (12 - 15 feet) high, approaching directly from the west, affected the west coasts of Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique. These waves were superimposed on top of a storm surge, the height of which is unknown at the present time.
The effects of Hurricane Lenny were experienced along the entire west coast of Grenada. Sections of the Western Main Road were destroyed as well as several houses in Gouyave, a west coast fishing village. This present report, however, concentrates on the damage at Grand Anse.
Grand Anse is 2.6 km (1.6 miles) long and is the central focus of Grenadas tourism industry. The entire length of Grand Anse was affected by the hurricane swells, with the most severe damage from the Grenada Renaissance Resort to the Flamboyant beach bar. The northern end of the beach to Silver Sands was also affected by the swells, but the erosion and damage was less severe here due to the protection provided by the northern headland.
Sand was stripped from the beach and carried offshore. Large volumes of sand were also carried inland and deposited in properties behind the beach. Numerous large trees fell, and two weeks after the hurricane a 1 m (3 feet) high cliff of sand was visible at the back of the beach by the road access north of Camerhogne Park. The Cotbam Restaurant, Bar and Dive Shop was destroyed and now forms a major debris pile projecting 10 m into the sea. The low dune in front of the Spice Isle Inn was lowered more than 1 m in height.
The beach profiles (cross sections) in Figures 1 and 2 (Appendix II) show the beach one month before the hurricane and one week after the hurricane. (These profiles were measured by a team from the Grenada National Science and Technology Council, Lands and Surveys Division, Land and Water Resource Unit). The profiles illustrate the extent of the damage to the beach.Beach Rehabilitation since Hurricane Lenny
Rehabilitation efforts have been spearheaded by the Grenada Board of Tourism, together with assistance from other government agencies e.g. the Forestry Department, as well as hoteliers and the community. These efforts have mainly consisted of clearing the debris, removing fallen trees and roots, placing sand deposited on inland properties back on the beach, redistributing sand along the beach.RECOMMENDATIONS
Cambers, G. 1996. Hurricane impact on beaches in the eastern Caribbean islands 1989-1995. COSALC Report. 96 pages.
Cambers, G. 1997. Planning for coastline change. Guidelines for construction setbacks in the eastern Caribbean islands. CSI info 4, UNESCO, Paris. viii + 14 pages.
1. Coast and Beach Stability in the Caribbean Project (COSALC), University of Puerto Rico Sea Grant College Program, P.O.Box 9011, Mayaguez, Puerto Rico 00681. Tel: 787 832 3585, Fax: 787 265 2880, e-mail email@example.com
0820 Depart Mayaguez
1730 Arrive Grenada
0900 Meeting with Mr. Francis McBarnette, Director OAS. Field visit and damage assessment of Grand Anse, Morne Rouge and Lance Aux Epines, with Mr. R. Morain of the Board of Tourism, Mr. Gordon Paterson of the Forestry Department and Mr. Peter Thomas of the National Science and Technology Council.1215 TV interview with Grenada National TV.
1230 Lunch Meeting with Mr. David R.L.Lin, Ambassador of the Republic of China.
1500 Technical meeting with OAS (Mr. F. McBarnette), Board of Tourism (Mr. William Joseph, Ms. Anne Isaac, Mr. R. Morain), National Science and Technology Council (Dr. James Pitt, Mr. Peter Thomas), Energy Division, Ministry of Communications and Works (Mr. John Auguste).
0600 Depart Grenada.
23.00 Arrive Mayaguez.
(Data provided by the National Science and Technology Council, Lands and Surveys Division and the Land and Water Resource Unit).
The green line (with the round markers) shows the beach profile before Hurricane Lenny, and the red line (with the square markers) shows the beach profile one week after Hurricane Lenny. Note the height of the dune and of the beach has been significantly lowered by more than 1 m (3 feet) as a result of the hurricane.Beach profiles at the road access north of Camerhogne Park, Grand Anse, before and after Hurricane Lenny.
The green line (with the round markers) shows the beach profile before Hurricane Lenny, and the red line (with the square markers) shows the beach profile one week after Hurricane Lenny. Note the beach profile has been significantly lowered and narrowed and there is a very steep cut at the back of the beach.
(Data provided by the Nevis Historical and Conservation Society and the Nevis Planning Department).
The yellow line (with triangle markers) shows the beach profile before Hurricane Luis, the green line (with round markers) shows the beach profile after Hurricane Luis, and the red line (with square markers) shows the beach profile six months after the hurricane. Note that at this site, six months later, the beach had recovered to almost its pre-hurricane size.
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Page last updated on 12 Feb 2001