St. Croix is Still Focusing on Storm Recovery as the 2018 Hurricane Season Arrives

With hurricane season in full force, many people’s minds are on how to help those affected by these severe storms. Doing research online turns up some charitable organizations dedicated in part to helping people whose lives were turned upside down by a hurricane in recent years. An example is Cane Bay Partners on the island of St. Croix in the Virgin Islands.

Irma and Maria

A main focus of this organization has been providing assistance to residents of the island after the devastating effects of Hurricane Maria in autumn of 2017. Hurricane Irma also caused damage there, but it was Maria that had the worst impact two weeks later. Both reached the island as category 5 storms.

An Effort for Recovery and Restoration

A year later, St. Croix has finally been approved for substantial funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). In the meantime, however, the residents relied on charitable organizations and private donors to help them recover and rebuild. A strong effort was made to get the island back in shape for tourist season since that is a vital economic aspect of this region.

This meant making sure the power was on throughout the island and vacation rental properties and dining establishments were restored. Infrastructure needed repairs or replacement. By spring, much of the work was complete. However, many island buildings still have blue tarps over the roofs, with a continued need for more construction supplies and skilled labor. In some cases, delayed insurance payments have led to the delay in repair work. Insurance companies were overwhelmed with claims after the storms of 2017.

Island Living: A Tradeoff

With hurricane season upon the Atlantic coast and the Caribbean islands once again, area residents are understandably nervous. They appreciated being able to rely on financial assistance and the delivery of essential supplies, but they certainly don’t want to go through anything like that again. Living on a Caribbean island is a bit of a tradeoff, however. The residents enjoy the sense of residing in paradise most of the time, but on rare occasion, a howling storm blasts through and leaves destruction behind.