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Virgin Islands Still Climbing to Recovery

Many popular cruise ports have been devastated by this hurricane season.  Lots of people still need help.  Here is an update on the U.S. Virgin Islands:

On September 6th, 2017 and again on September 19th, 2017, category 5 hurricanes hit the U.S. Virgin Islands.   Hurricane Irma devastated St. Thomas, St. John and Water Island.  Two weeks later, Hurricane Maria devastated St. Croix and piled on additional damages to the sister islands.  Each of these islands is still in active recovery mode.  You can follow the progress here.

A small recent victory has been getting some schools to re-open.  “Getting school open was a big step in the direction towards some sense of normalcy,” U.S. Virgin Islands Governor Kenneth E. Mapp told reporters Tuesday at Government House in St. Croix.

While all schools were not ready to open, more than 270 teachers and close to 2,000 students turned up for classes in the St. Thomas-St. John district on Tuesday. “There were some issues with connectivity, but they were able to stay in school and work,” said Governor Mapp, adding that more work is needed to get all students across the Territory back to school.

Some commercial flight activity has also returned.  Read here.  St. Thomas’s Cyril E. King Airport has reopened to commercial flights, with American and Delta airlines offering flights from the U.S. mainland. Government officials hope that cruise ships will be able return to St. Thomas and St. Croix by late October.  See Washington Post.  See also U.S. Virgin Islands getting back to business following September storms.

People who are interested in assisting with the recovery efforts are urged to provide donations to established non-profit community organizations, based in the Virgin Islands.  They are local foundations that already support a variety of programs on each island and are ready and able to use their established networks and volunteers to help the islands during the rebuilding.  For more information and a list of some local organizations, visit here:

FEMA continues to provide support to ongoing relief efforts.  The Agency recently commandeered one of Carnival’s cruise ships to house relief works for the next few months.  Carnival Cruise Ship Departs Port Canaveral to Begin Operations by FEMA.

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