2016 St John Hurricane Update

Listen to this post here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B-RhSG_NKpnXTVN6VHdubkRINTQ/view?usp=sharing

Bonjour St Johnians!

I have an update regarding our Hurricane Frédérique.

As you know, I scheduled our hurricane for this coming weekend, August 19-21. I have traditionally done my hurricane on the third weekend in August. Frédérique will be the 6th hurricane that I have done in my time as an estate owner.

I always knew that at some point a time would come when our hurricane collided with an actual hurricane or flooding disaster. It appears that 2016 is the year it happens.

This week there have been tens of thousands of people in and around Baton Rouge, Louisiana whose homes have been devastated by flooding due to severe rain. This disaster came out of nowhere and has hit hard.

I have been watching the news and weather for the last week about this situation and I know many of you have watched it too. As the situation worsened, my unease of having our virtual hurricane grew. I reached out yesterday to St John residents and I talked to people as a group and as individuals about how I am feeling.

We have two options: postpone the hurricane or go ahead with it but make it less “severe”, specifically not bringing the water level up as high as I usually do.

This might sound silly to those of you that have never experienced one of my hurricanes, but part of the fun is when the water gets high enough for us to boat in the streets of the city. We become Venice for a weekend. There is just something about rowing your boat down the street that is a lot of fun!

Additionally, the high water level works in conjunction with the visual and audio effects I use to create a really intense, immersive experience. It would be a less intense experience with lower water.

The risk of postponing is that we could run into this scenario again in a month. There could be an actual hurricane or flood happening. A postponement is also an inconvenience for the folks that were planning hurricane parties this weekend. Everything needs to be rescheduled and communications need to go out about the change.

After much thought and some really good discussions with St John residents, I have decided to reschedule Hurricane Frédérique for Friday, September 23 through Sunday, September 25. The actual flood waters have started to recede, and while the people affected by this tragedy will not be close to having their lives back in 5 weeks, it is my hope that they will at least see at light at the end of the tunnel.

One of the things that I have learned over the years doing these hurricanes is that it’s a very cathartic experience. We are in no actual danger, but we spend a weekend together on the adventure and we hang out and enjoy each other. By the time the hurricane is gone on Sunday evening, we have a feeling of having made it through something together. It’s very powerful and it’s also empowering.

Therefore, we will have our hurricane and I will keep it at its usual level of intensity. We’ll just have it on the 4th weekend in September. September 23-25.

If you have any questions, please let me know!

Thanks,
Gabi

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