Last month, the Virgin Islands experienced two powerful category-5 hurricanes in less than two weeks. Hurricane Irma severely damaged St. Thomas, St. John, Tortola, Virgin Gorda, and many islands in the northeast Caribbean. Twelve days later Hurricane Maria arrived and battered St. Croix, Puerto Rico, and Dominica. Many homes and businesses were destroyed, and some people lost everything. St. Croix, which served as the staging ground for relief efforts in St. Thomas and St. John was now in need. For the first time in modern history, the entire Virgin Islands was without electricity, and all radio stations were down. While these hurricanes have temporarily changed the beauty of our islands, they will make us stronger.
Virgin Islanders are resilient, and although the damage was severe, every day is better than the day before.
- Three days after Maria hit, some portions of downtown Christiansted had electricity restored.
- Both airports in the Virgin Islands and all seaports have resumed commercial service. Cruise ships will return November 10 and St. Croix will see a 125% increase in cruise ship calls this season.
- Virgin Islands basketball great Tim Duncan has delivered three planeloads of food and supplies. Virgin Islanders and other Americans across the United States have sent almost a million pounds of supplies.
- Every day more and more businesses are reopening. So far at least 50 businesses have reopened in downtown Christiansted.
- Hundreds of relief workers from FEMA and power companies from the United States are in the Virgin Islands assisting with the recovery.
The current curfew begins at 8 pm every evening and temporarily limits dining, entertaining, and travel options. For an up-to-date list of changes, visit the Department of Tourism Special Update website, http://usviupdate.com.
In the days ahead we will rebuild, and life will begin to feel normal again. The Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority aim to have at least 90% of service restored before Christmas and the governor has assembled a task force to begin the process of rebuilding an even more resilient Virgin Islands.
Stay tuned for more updates on the recovery of the Virgin Islands. Be sure to visit our Facebook page and Like us for helpful rebuilding tips, FEMA announcements, and updates on business reopenings. We look forward to an even more beautiful Virgin Islands, and we look forward to hearing from you. Thank you for your continued support. #VirginIslandsStrong
- Caryn and Stephanie