ST. JOHN’S — Residents made several reports of tornadoes and waterspouts touching down on the island, as Tropical Storm Chantal passed to the south of Antigua yesterday afternoon.
OBSERVER received eyewitness reports of tornadoes forming in the Lightfoot community and causing damage to both the Camp Blizzard army base and the Jumby Bay Resort on offshore Long Island.
Major Randolph Best, commanding officer with responsibility for disaster management at the Antigua & Barbuda Defence Force, recalled how he saw a tornado rummage through the Camp Blizzard base.
“I was getting ready to speak with the troops, having monitored what was going on with the passage of the storm,” he said.
“There was a sudden gust of wind and I happened to look outside the window and saw a tornado passing no more than 15 feet from the building I was in.”
Best said the twister tore up quite a few trees and displaced several tanks filled with water.
“Several windows were broken, literally exploded,” he said.
“Vehicles were displaced and got damaged. Coconut trees were blown over; several trees snapped. We had several buildings that the roof was damaged.”
There were no reports of loss of life or injury, but that the army was still conducting its assessment.
Meantime, at Jumby Bay Resort, one worker said he was inside the building when a twister passed.
When contacted about 5 p.m. yesterday, the Office of Meteorological Services was asking residents to avoid the Jabberwock Beach area to the north of the island, where a water spout/tornado had reportedly formed.
Forecaster Dale Destin confirmed that the tornadoes were a result of Chantal.
The storm, currently located in the Caribbean Sea, is expected to become a hurricane and make landfall at The Domincan Republic, Haiti and Cuba. (Antigua Observer)