He's ready: Former Halifax resident prepares to take on Irma
Lorenz Magaard-Romano is living on the northern Carribean island of St. Maarten, where the hurricane is expected to wreak havoc
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A former Halifax man is battening down the hatch ready to ride out hurricane Irma in his new home, St. Maarten.
Lorenz Magaard-Romano, who spent the previous five years living in Halifax, recently relocated to the northern Caribbean island of St. Maarten where he works at the yacht club.
Hurricane Irma— a Category 5 storm with winds as high as 185 mph, according to the weather channel— is currently slamming the island.
Magaard-Romano said in the days leading up to Irma’s arrival islanders have been taking the storm very seriously due to past experience.
“The last hurricane of a similar size was devastating—hurricane Louis in 1995,” he said.
Magaard-Romano said that in the last couple days everyone on St. Maarten has been busy boarding up windows and getting supplies ready.
“The lagoon in St Maarten has been filling up with boats as many mariners from the surrounding islands are seeking shelter here,” he said.
The feeling on the island is one of worry, according to Magaard-Romano, who said those who have lived through a few storms on the island remember Louis and the damage it caused.
“Personally as this is my first storm it's difficult to gauge how worried I should be but I'd be lying if the fact that it's already more powerful than Katrina at it's peak isn't terrifying,” he said.
When Magaard-Romano lived in Halifax he said he only had one hurricane scare.
“The outskirts of hurricane Sandy hit us but we didn't even lose power so it ended up being a bit anticlimactic,” he said.
As for Irma, the eye of the storm is expected to pass very close to St. Maarten, or right over it.
“It's much more serious here than anything I've ever experienced in Halifax,” he said.
Magaard-Romano said he’ll be hunkering down with three friends, and they have enough water and canned food for the next tow weeks.
“I'll be in a concrete building up a hill so I should be safe from flooding and all our windows are boarded up. The biggest worry we have is that the roof will blow off,” he said. “If this happens we will head to the lower floors where there are some closets that are surrounded completely by concrete.”