Caribbean eyewitness: From lush islands to 'brown wastelands'

U.S. Coast Guard officer is on the front lines of Caribbean hurricane relief efforts

By Scott Pickering
Posted 9/22/17

Bristol native Alex Hamel has had front-row seats to two of the most powerful and damaging hurricanes to have slammed the Caribbean this century — first Irma, and now Maria. Commander of a U.S. Coast Guard ship stationed in Puerto Rico, Lt. Hamel and his crew have been working for weeks in and around the U.S. Virgin Islands. They have delivered food and supplies, rescued stranded tourists, provided securty, and assessed infrastructure and damages.

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A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.