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15 conference center after hurricane In this week’s ‘Memories of Casa de Campo’ post Carol Burke continues her story about Hurricane Georges – this time she talks about the aftermath. [DON’T PANIC! Please remember that it is EXTREMELY RARE for the Dominican Republic to be hit by a hurricane. ] In the days after the hurricane hit Casa de Campo (September, 1998) ripping the roof off our house and collapsing the living room walls, I spent a lot of time drying out my books and my paintings because everything had become soaked with rain. The living and dining room floors were covered in broken glass, wood, pieces of concrete, and other bits of wreckage. Fortunately, being in Casa de Campo, there were many people available to help us clean up.

The view of our living room without walls…

01 view from our living room after hurricane

Stairway to lower level, wet books in bookcase..

02 bookcase and stairway after hurricane Glass tabletops had been crushed, furniture had been blown across the room and piled up against what was left of the wall. Later, after the living room floor had been cleared of dangerous debris, and the chair cushions dried out, the view of the stars at night was spectacular. The electricity was out and the roof overhead was gone, so I could sit in the living room and contemplate the universe. After the hurricane, Daisy and Cookie (my dogs) and I went out into the garden and street to see the damage. The wall of windows fell outside the house on this side. It can be seen in the photo lying on the ground behind the palm trees.

Outside our house with no roof and broken palm trees

03 our house exterior after hurricane At first the streets were impassible, but clean-up crews worked tirelessly to remove trees and rubble to clear the way.

Cookie, our dog looking at trees in the street – and golf villas in the neighborhood

After looking at the streets and houses in our neighborhood, the dogs and I jumped into the golf cart and drove over to the airport. At that time, Casa de Campo had an airport close to Punta Aguila, near the villas along the coast and in the middle of the Teeth of the Dog golf course.

Airplane between lake and sea – before the hurricane

08 airplane Teeth of the Dog lake It was shocking to see that someone’s roof had landed in the middle of the runway. The tower windows had been blown away, and some of the airplanes were upside down.

Casa de Campo airport after the hurricane

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One of my favorite places in Casa de Campo before the hurricane had been the lake in front of Lago Grill because it was home to hundreds of white birds. The birds lived in the trees on a tiny island in the lake. Every day the birds would fly away in the morning and come rustling back at sunset.

The view from the Lago Grill before the hurricane

13 Lago Grill - Clara Mars and Jenny After the hurricane, I found that the trees had been broken and stripped of their leaves by the strong winds. The white birds still gathered there but they had to sit under the trees on the ground instead of nesting high in the branches.

View of birds’ island after the hurricane

14 birds Teeth of Dog lake after hurricane Driving around Casa, we saw trees and telephone poles snapped off, and a Watchman’s hut had been turned upside down.

Casa de Campo guard’s hut, telephone poles and other scenes after the hurricane in Casa

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