Published On: Wed, Sep 27th, 2017

Post-Hurricane Irma Interview: “Tim Dowling”

Tim DowlingST. JOHN’S  — “Seeing Hurricane Irma increase in strength on the weather channel just made us worried.” says Tim Dowling, animation illustrator and owner of the art gallery, Art House St. Maarten.

Animation illustrator Tim Dowling recounts his personal experiences during Hurricane Irma

“The weather people used such horrible sentences like ‘anything that comes into Irma’s path would be annihilated!’ which made my stomach just churn. I was worried. We’d been through Luis and this was ‘only’ a category 4 hurricane so I was sick to my stomach with worry. During the hurricane, all I could think was ‘please God, let us be safe and let it pass fast’.”

Dowling says that after being cooped up for “such a long time” inside and not knowing what had happened during the storm, he wanted to go outside and see what was going on. When he did, he witnessed people breaking into places in order to loot items. He says that people were greedy and aggressive, but some her also frustrated and saddened. “I was prepared for the hurricane,” he says, “but not for the damage and the aftermath. I was pretty numb and shocked, and the looters appalled me. Although, I wasn’t too shocked about it. I had expected it and I think some looters were hoping and prepared to start looting. I was disgusted.”

Dowling continues by saying that he didn’t lose anything, however he did sustain damage to the inside and outside of his house and car. He says he was also supposed to be opening a new business called Art House St. Maarten, but that was delayed by the storm. “I’m numb.” he says, “but I’m trying to be helpful to my family and I hope things start to pick up again.”

Dowling also commented on Maria and says, “I believe two category 5 hurricanes are the result of climate change and global warming. We cannot be so reckless and ignorant to not see the obvious signs. This ‘little’ storm turned into a category 5 hurricane in record time, but let’s not forget all the other signs, as increasing temperatures and melting polar ice, floods to name a few. There is no doubt that we are in the hurricane path, but we can’t ignore the temperature of the seas. The world’s most clever scientist all agree that our weather will be more extreme and more active. It’s the price we pay for using our atmosphere as sewage for CO2. St. Maarten can do more than have stricter hurricane building codes. We can recycle, reduce and reuse. It’s incredibly frustrating to see how people just don’t care about the nature on the island we call our home.”

Interview by Today reporter, Julie Alcin. Photo taken from Facebook.