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Main Banana Discussion This is where we discuss our banana collections; tips on growing bananas, tips on harvesting bananas, sharing our banana photos and stories.


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Old 08-14-2014, 09:49 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Hurricane(ish) Iselle banana damage

It hasn't really made the national news. Probably because nobody died. But 1 week ago Hurricane Iselle hit our island and was downgraded to a Tropical Storm at the last minute, preserving the fact that the Big Island has never been hit by a hurricane in recorded history. The last update before I lost my power showed the center basically making landfall on my street. Instead it was about 15 miles east of me. It destroyed several homes, damaged at least 150, and has kept 20,000 people including myself without power and water for a week. It was initially 60,000 people, about 1/3 of the island but was under 30,000 in a couple days. This is the poorest area in the state. So it's not anywhere near as bad as it could have been, but it is hitting a lot of people financially who can't afford it.

I and most of my immediate neighbors are very fortunate to have no home damage and only minimal plant damage. And I am even more fortunate to have a generator. Virtually everyone in this area of 40,000 or so is on catchment or well water--so no power means no water. Of course, land lines, cable, internet, cell signals were and are mostly still down for 20,000.

Certainly many thousands of large invasive trees came down, taking with them thousands of power lines and at least 200 poles. For the first 4 days there were a total of 70 utility workers of any type out in the field trying to fix things, which was nowhere near enough for an area the size of the island of Oahu. About 4000 more people are getting power per day, but some areas are going to take a month.

Just thought I'd share my banana photos. I can't imagine how devastating it is in those parts of the world hit by major hurricanes who are dependent on their bananas to survive. I felt really great the next day by how little work I had to do. My weather station only clocked 30 mph max winds, but a neighbor down the road right on the ocean hit 54, and his station is better. It went on for 9 hours at night so I slept through most of it.

This is the coastal road near me. Normally no green on the street, and this was a stretch with no downed trees.


The ones on the left are all Gros Michel, and to their right Cuban Reds.


This big old Mysore bunch and it's largest pup got toppled. Too far from being ripe unfortunately.


My 1000 fingers (on the left), despite having thick trunks are in a very exposed area, and 2 of the biggest 3 went down. Was shocked to have the biggest bunch survive.


This is my 'Upehupehu and my supposed Pisang Raja, which are pretty thin stemmed. Those were all toast, while the 'Upehupehu just leaned.


The view of the Pisang Raja from my lanai. This used to block the view of my new lot, so now I can actually see it from my house!


General view of the main yard from my lanai. Lots of shredding. None of my 3 A'ea'es were damaged. None of my rarest types were harmed, which was great.


The best thing to come out of this was a bike ride I took down the road a couple days after and met a guy working his banana patch who is a fellow banana enthusiast with about 35 types too. We both have several that neither have and will be getting together to swap keikis soon!

Last edited by robguz24 : 08-14-2014 at 09:54 PM.
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Old 08-14-2014, 10:06 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Hurricane(ish) Iselle banana damage

Sorry to hear and see the damage. I guess that it could have been worse and you actually got away with a "black eye" as we say.
So sad to see the damaged plants though but I admire your attitude to see the positives. I am sure that everything will grow back for you and even better, it seems that you made a new friend.
Hope that all goes back to normal on that beautiful island soon.
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Old 08-15-2014, 08:04 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hurricane(ish) Iselle banana damage

It's nice only to see some minor damage, these baby storms are good learning experiences. The decision usually comes down to how many leaves to prune and what side of the plant to prune them from. With a little planning, drag can be dramatically reduced.
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Old 08-15-2014, 06:19 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Hurricane(ish) Iselle banana damage

Sorry to see the damaged nanas but no deaths and apparently no tidal surge is good news.
Wow - I hadn't thought about recovery efforts - in the states the power companys usually stage teams from neighbor states. they are heading toward the storm while others are evacuating..
Guess that's not possible on the islands.
Glad you made it through safely.. plants grow back. people don't.
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Old 08-16-2014, 12:30 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hurricane(ish) Iselle banana damage

I had an afternoon storm do about as much damage yesterday. It always sucks to have plants get blown down
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Old 09-04-2017, 09:36 PM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Default Increasing risk Hurricane Irma may damage my banana plants!

Recent models have Hurricane Irma approaching south Florida this weekend with very strong winds. The GFS model even has the center of Irma right over my back yard early Sunday! This a terrible disaster and could destroy my banana plants. These are the varieties I have: one SH3640, one FHIA 2, one FHIA 3, and one Namwa with a bunch already filled out. The SH 3640 has a bunch but is not yet filled out.
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Old 09-04-2017, 10:26 PM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Increasing risk Hurricane Irma may damage my banana plants!

Quote:
Originally Posted by JCA433 View Post
Recent models have Hurricane Irma approaching south Florida this weekend with very strong winds. The GFS model even has the center of Irma right over my back yard early Sunday! This a terrible disaster and could destroy my banana plants. These are the varieties I have: one SH3640, one FHIA 2, one FHIA 3, and one Namwa with a bunch already filled out. The SH 3640 has a bunch but is not yet filled out.
I feel your pain. If it follows the forecasted track we are all screwed in S.FL. My first set of nana plants are flourishing and are now at risk of being wiped out.
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Old 09-04-2017, 11:30 PM   #8 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Hurricane(ish) Iselle banana damage

I finally have a couple bunches on something besides Brazilians and a 3640 I think is about to bloom, so of course, here it comes.
I have an idea in my head of a banana plant wind protector that should work, but no money or time for the prototype. It would take 14 10 foot sections of 1-1/4 and/or 1-1/2 in pvc (so 1 slides inside the other for adjustable size and pin together construction ) and t's and elbows, plus glue and pins and ground stakes or weights. Maybe a bungee cord if the plant has a bunch on.( but I don't know if that would work.) It would come apart in two or four pieces and have adjustable height, so it holds slightly above the top of the PS where there is flexibility enough to not break, but enough strength to keep it upright.and an adjustable width for the different sizes of plants.
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Varieties I supposedly bought: Manzano, Cavendish, Blue Java, Sweetheart, and Gros Michel.
What it seems I actually have: Brazilian, Cavendish, Namwah, Dwarf Red, Gros Michel, Pisang Ceylon, Veinte Cohol and SH 3640, and American Goldfinger. FHIA 1, Paggi and FHIA 17... Always room for one more.

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Old 09-08-2017, 04:40 PM   #9 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Hurricane(ish) Iselle banana damage

My banana plants are very healthy but a big danger is lurking and will soon arrive. Hurricane Irma is approaching south Florida with very strong winds and a very large wind field. Even if your location is not near the center do not think you will escape high winds. Hurricane force winds extend about 60 nm from center and tropical force winds much more than 100 miles. This monster storm is a problem for all banana growers in peninsula Florida and unfortunately will likely also cause extensive damage to homes and trees. Expect extended power outages so have your flash light ready and be ready to evacuate if necessary. I hope everyone remains safe while this extremely dangerous hurricane tracks north across Florida.

It appears my location MIGHT escape the worst of Hurricane Irma according to recent models. Of course things can change, but hope it tracks as far away as possible.

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Old 09-08-2017, 05:06 PM   #10 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Hurricane(ish) Iselle banana damage

Good luck to all in Irma's path- Hurricanes are dangerous. Sometimes they wobble unexpectedly- Fill your tubs and sinks even if you don't plan on drinking from them.
if your house survives but you lose water pressure you will need it to flush or bathe. Bananas are just collateral damage - save yourself.
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Last edited by Jose263 : 09-08-2017 at 05:08 PM. Reason: correct spelling
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