Ongoing Restoration Efforts Continue on the Island of St. Croix

With help from organizations like Cane Bay Partners, the residents of St. Croix and the other U.S. Virgin Islands have gradually recovered from the devastating hurricanes of 2017, for the most part. Although two years have passed, there continue to be some hardships and struggles connected with those storms. Being hit by two hurricanes in a short time created an extremely difficult situation for St. Croix residents.

The 2017 Hurricanes

Hurricane Maria struck St. Croix with category 5 winds. Just two weeks previously, Hurricane Irma had landed on St. John and St. Thomas with category 5 winds. The island of St. Croix was already experiencing some financial difficulties and troubles with economic growth, with residents relying heavily on tourism for much of the revenue. Lost tourism opportunities over the next several months worsened the situation. Buildings had to be repaired and reconstructed, and electrical power was absent for months in some areas.

Effects on Families

A report from National Public Radio in April of this year said that many residents of the U.S. Virgin Islands have noticed their children continuing to feel despair and hopelessness long after the hurricanes caused so much damage. Many families did not have access to enough food or drinkable water for several weeks, and some lost nearly everything they owned. As of April, many homes still did not have adequate roofing and were covered with tarps.

Funding From Charities and the Government

Charitable organizations like Cane Bay Cares have chipped in throughout the crisis by providing bottled water, generators and other supplies. The Islands received funding from the U.S. government after the hurricanes and wants to use some of that money for general improvements that were advisable even before the storms. Better infrastructure is a strong priority.

Ready for Tourism

Fortunately, about a year after the hurricanes, tourist-related websites were posting reviews from users that most of the resorts and restaurants had reopened and were ready for business ahead of the busiest season. Business owners were strongly encouraging people to come visit, and enjoy the warmth and beauty of the tropical islands. That continues today, as substantial restoration has been completed.