Entertainers remember 'wild Gilbert'
So powerful was Hurricane Gilbert that it has left a lasting impression in the minds of Jamaicans who were around to experience it.
The hurricane was the most intense Atlantic hurricane on record until it was surpassed in 2005 by Hurricane Wilma and claimed the lives of over 300 persons.
Although they were merely youngsters during its passing 30 years ago, some entertainers have vivid memories of the disaster that rocked Jamaica and neighbouring countries.
Bwoy Gilbert was rough from what I can remember. I was living in Waterford in one a dem likkle 'matches box' house with my mother. Them scheme house deh always a leak so as soon as the rain start fall the place start flood. The water reach way up inna the house and at a point in time, a pon di house top we reach. A whole heap a people did reach on them house top because the place never stay good. Thank God the breeze never take we off. We never have no whole heap a damage to we likkle squeeze up house but the place take a while to come back normal. Da hurricane deh did wicked bad.
What I like about Gilbert is that everyone had to came off their 'high horse'. It taught humility ... all of those who used to pass and no say good morning to you before had to stop and ask where we catch water or how we build a wood fire. There was no division because everyone had to help each other. When Gilbert took place, I had just moved from Manchester to Kingston. I was on a trip heading into Kingston and when the bus reached St Catherine, it had to stop because the wind and rain were so strong. When we exited the bus, that's when the eye of the storm passed and everyone was running to seek refuge wherever they could. The trees and the light post were already falling. I remember going under a tree and although it looked like it was going to fall, thankfully it didn't. Afterwards I saw an open back van and hopped on and it took me to Kingston. Bwoy Kingston was flat ... a lot of damages were done and it took us a while to get things back in order.
Gilbert was an awful experience. It was stressful and devastating because like many Jamaicans I never took it serious. Me never board up the windows or do anything because me think it did a go just pass Jamaica but me did wrong. Me did live in Barbican and me house top blow off completely. Me never have a lot of furniture in the house so I wasn't a victim of looting but I remember using my good clothes to dry up water and me move me bed put inna a little corner. But as me move it the breeze blow that part a the house top gone, so mi end up just a look in the sky. Gilbert really hit home and it teach me to prepare anytime me hear of a storm or hurricane warning.