Sunday, September 27, 2009

Typhoon Ondoy; Vince Ferguson

We have just experienced a typhoon near-miss, so to speak, here on Corregidor. The center of the storm passed about 100 miles north of Metro Manila, which in turn is only 25 miles northeast of us. We were sparred Ondoy’s wrath, both in rainfall and wind damage. Many of you have been concerned for us, and we can assure you that we are safe and well.

The surf got higher than we have ever seen it, so we are including a picture taken at the South Dock, with the tail of Corregidor, Hooker Point (which is part of Corregidor during low tide) and Caballo Island visible on the horizon. The picture does not do justice to the size and sound of the waves as they roll and crash ashore. We can hear them from our house, about a mile from the beach. They are bringing lots of garbage from Manila onto the south beach, so there will be a major cleanup coming. It’s amazing what the difference of 25 miles can mean in terms of rainfall and wind. We received only 7.8 inches of rain, with 5 inches of that total coming between 6:00 AM and 6:00 PM on Saturday.

Manila did not fare nearly as well.

From the Typhoon 2000 newsletter:
Meanwhile, a massive flooding has occurred yesterday across Metro Manila, Southern Tagalog Provinces and Central Luzon. PAGASA Science Garden in Quezon City recorded a new record rainfall accumulation of 16.7 inches (424 mm.) in just 12 hours, breaking the previous record of 13.2 inches (335 mm) which fell during a 24-hour period in June 1967.

Our friend Tony Feredo sent us this report, which we include along with a couple of his flood pictures.


Tragedy struck Marikina as Typhoon Ondoy's heavy rains and the release of the water at the dams caused the Marikina River to overflow. This is the worst flooding in 42 years. 80% of Marikina is submerged and no power. Yesterday we helped some of the trapped residents get out of the low lying areas. The lower part of Quezon St.(our street) was flooded and Paul's house was hit. The flood, as seen in the attached photos was too deep. Even the Church and the Barangay hall was not spared. More so at Riverbanks. As of this morning people in other parts of Marikina are trapped on their roofs without rescue and food.

This morning the flood has subsided but mud is all around the area. I will try to go back there this afternoon. No power in Marikina so I am in Quezon City right now.


We also heard from Paul Whitman, creator of the web’s biggest and best source of Corregidor information, Paul, who lives just down the hill from Tony in Marikina, is currently in the United States. He has plans to have his wife join him there in a couple of weeks. Now he is not sure what is going to happen as he tries to assess potentially devastating damage to his house, and what to do about it from afar. Fortunately for Paul, his good friend Tony is already helping him as best he can.

One final note: Marcia’s brother-in-law, Vince Ferguson, husband of her sister, Mary, passed away suddenly last week at their home in Nassau, Bahamas, from a massive heart attack. He was 71. We are thankful for time spent with Vince while we were in Minnesota this summer. You can see from his picture that he was a handsome man. He could sing like Harry Belafonte and dance like Fred Astaire.

Vince lived a very busy life, devoted to his faith, his family, and his native Bahamas. He was involved in many aspects of church, community and national affairs. He is also survived by his daughter, Anne Marie, his son and daughter-in-law, Alex and Danielle, and grandchildren, Kylie and Caden.

For you baseball fans, Vince was always proud of the fact that he played in the Braves organization and was friends with men such as Hank Aaron and Joe Torre. Vince won a AAA championship at Richmond but never made it to the big leagues. He was the fourth best outfielder after Aaron, Rico Carty, and Felipe Alou. He was certainly one of the best athletes ever to come out of the Bahamas.

He was an amazing man, and we will miss him dearly. If you would like to know more you can read about him at:

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