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In the UK, we watched the progress of Hurricane Irma with some trepidation knowing that our friends who live in Florida might be under the path of the hurricane. Many were able to evacuate and thankfully, as far as I know, no one has been hurt and property damage although very inconvenient, is repairable. Run off from rainfall is making Lake Okeechobee rise above the normal high but I read that no damage has been done to the dike even where there is major construction work as in Clewiston. We hope it will not be too long before life returns to normal although newspaper reports here are predicting that this will take some time in the tourist areas on both the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts.

On October 30, 1991, I was in Cape Cod. Hurricane Grace was merging into a strong storm system over the sea resulting in the Perfect (or Halloween) Storm. We went to the Marconi Wireless Station on the beach that morning. As it took all our strength to stop our 12 year old from being blown over, we beat a hasty retreat. By noon, the beaches had closed. My photos show a sea that is foaming and white under a dark grey sky. We hastened back to Hyannis on Route 28 through torrential rain. Shortly after we arrived back at the hotel, flooding closed this road! Winds were reported as high as 78mph (they certainly rattled the roof of the hotel swimming pool!) and the massive waves led to extensive coastal flooding.

I know that the threat of hurricanes is an inescapable part of living in Florida but looking at pictures of Irma’s damage, made me think about our time on Cape Cod. We went out that day not appreciating the power of the storm – by the time we returned, we knew a little of what it felt like. The message - never underestimate nature!

In this edition, we remember with pride, four men who became pilots at Riddle Field, served their countries well and afterwards, helped to ensure we remembered what they did and whom they did it for.

‘Their efforts to preserve the freedom of the world were not in vain and will never be forgotten’



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