Year in Review

June: Mother Nature wreaks havoc

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Downpours caused cancellations to traditional summer events in June and were blamed for potholes, which in turn were said to have caused damage to taxis. 

By the fifth of the month, the island had recorded 26.66in of rainfall since 2023 began — more than 4in above normal. 

Lieutenant-Colonel David Burch, the Minister of Public Works, said his team was “fully aware of the impact” that heavy rainfall had on roads, where a number of potholes emerged. 

He added that crews worked diligently to repair and restore the affected areas so that driving conditions could be safer and smoother for the public. 

Dennis Furbert, the president of the Bermuda Taxi Owners and Operators Association, said later that the cost of repairing damage caused by potholes was cutting into the operating budgets of drivers. 

He added that dealerships were running out of parts to fix vehicles. 

Michelle Pitcher, the director of the Bermuda Weather Service, said in the second week of June: “Various weather systems continue to pass near or pass through our area, bringing showers, rain and the occasional thunderstorm. 

“It is unusual for this time of year, as by now we normally are under the western extent of the Bermuda-Azores high-pressure system. High pressure supports sunny and dry conditions.” 

Run-off from a farm in Smith’s prompted a complaint from a resident who claimed that an outflow of dirt and manure presented a hazard to walkers on the Railway Trail. 

A stretch east of Store Hill was said to have been affected. 

Paul Almeida, the owner of Green Land farm, said weeks of wet weather had swept soil and cow waste off the property. 

He explained: “All the manure goes into the pit, but this is from the pasture because of all the rain. 

Mr Almeida said he had been sending digging equipment down to the trail to clear it after record-setting rain in May washed out berms along the edge of the farm. 

He added: “I’m fixing it up now and putting up a bigger berm, so hopefully, fingers crossed, it won’t happen any more. 

“I can’t beat Mother Nature.” 

A parade through Hamilton on June 17 to celebrate King Charles III’s birthday was called off at about 9am — 90 minutes before it was expected to begin — owing to inclement weather. 

The decision was taken out of an abundance of caution for the people who would take part. 

Rain and thunder started at about 11am that day and continued until about 2pm. 

Forecasts, including the likelihood of gale-force gusts and lightning, had already caused organisers of the Bermuda carnival to cancel a raft-up planned for Shelly Bay. 

Looking ahead to events that would go ahead two days later, a Carnival in Bermuda spokesman said: “It’s been raining for the past few weeks. People are in need of a positive release.” 

Revel De Road capped the festivities on June 19, when masqueraders made their way through parts of Pembroke, Devonshire and the City of Hamilton. 

They were joined by the R&B superstar Ashanti, a first-time visitor to the island. She said: “It’s beautiful. I’m glad the sun came out.” 

Another international celebrity who travelled to Bermuda in June was comedian Trevor Noah, a former host of The Daily Show. 

He spoke at a CG Insurance wellness event, where he was joined by Bermudian moderator Glenn Jones, a journalist and anchor at NBC10 Boston. 

Mr Noah, who also visited for the first time, said the island was stunning. 

He told an audience at the Hamilton Princess & Beach Club: “In the little time that I have been here, I have realised that there really is not a rush to get anywhere.” 

Mr Noah joked that on the ride from the airport, being passed by cyclists, was “really enjoyable”. 

“It was quite an experience,” he said. “Everyone is really chill.” 

Records released under the Public Access to Information Act showed that four executives at the Bermuda Gaming Commission earned six-figure salaries, while its commissioners received more than $1,000 each per meeting. 

It was reported earlier in the year that the commission — which was meant to become self-funding through casino taxes and fees, but had not done so because of the lack of a gambling industry — would receive a guarantee of almost $10 million from the Government to allow it to borrow money to keep operating. 

Hundreds celebrated the life and legacy of footballer Marco Warren at the start of June, after he lost his life in a road incident the previous month. 

Family, team-mates and former teachers at the Bermuda Institute honoured the 29-year-old captain of the PHC football team at a service before more than 800 people. 

The island also said goodbye to “lion of the labour movement” Ottiwell Simmons, a former Bermuda Industrial Union leader, who was an iconic figure in the fight for workers’ rights. 

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