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Radio Amateur on St. Lucia relays reports of hurricane devastation on Dominica

By ARRL, the national association for Amateur Radio

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Dominica hours before Maria made landfall.

(ARRL) – As “potentially catastrophic Hurricane Maria” is headed for the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, Frans van Santbrink, J69DS, on St. Lucia checked into the VoIP Hurricane Net to relay damage reports he gathered via repeater conversations with hams on Dominica, which was hit by Category 5 Hurricane Maria.

He recounted a damage report from Kerry Fevrier, J69YH, in Roseau, Dominica.

“Trees down, river has flooded half the village, cars are all over, most houses have lost their roofs or are destroyed, the area between his house and the church is just flattened…in his words, ‘devastation is total,’” van Santbrink told the net.

He also heard from J73CI, who has lost his roof; J73WA on the northern end of the island, who lost his tower and was uncertain how he was going to weather the back end of the storm, and J73MH, who also lost his roof and was “just hunkering down and hoping for the best.”

As of 1200 UTC, Maria was about 85 miles west of Guadeloupe and 170 miles southeast of St. Croix, with maximum sustained winds of 160 MPH (Category 5).

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) predicts, “Hurricane conditions will continue to spread throughout portions of the hurricane warning area in the Leeward Islands this morning. Hurricane conditions should spread through the remainder of the hurricane warning area later today and Wednesday.” — Thanks to the VoIP Hurricane Net

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