Last year, L and I were in Jamaica as Hurricane Lili passed through the Caribbean and made landfall in Louisiana. It had been temporarily downgraded to a tropical storm when it passed us by about twenty-five miles out to sea. Despite this, the winds were strong enough for the hotel to shutdown the pool area and keep everyone inside for two days. We were perfectly safe so we didn't fear the storm. Instead we watched in awe of the sheer power of it. We have some amazing pictures of palm trees being battered by 45mph winds, a marked contrast to identical photos taken when the sun was shining.
After it had gone on its merry way to wreak havoc in Cuba we wandered around outside surveying the damage. Stacks of metal sunloungers had been blown around a bit, despite being chained down. The artificial beach had been half washed away exposing the sandbags used to build it up. Plant debris lay everywhere and the place was generally a mess.
That was just a tropical storm and not a strong one at that. Isabel is due to hit the U.S. later today with winds 2½ - 3 times as fast, maybe more. I'm glad I'm not going to be anywhere near it when it does.