Diane Story

British Virgin Islands Resident Shares Irma Experience

Hurricane Irma devastated the British Virgin Islands on Wednesday, September 6th. Today I believe is the 16th – I am not sure what day today is seeing I have lost track of days and time. The hurricane was at least 10 days ago and people are finding it very difficult to gather themselves. Any kind of help, aid, or relief rendered to the residents will be greatly appreciated it. It is just a lot…

The storm hit the islands with a vengeance. The shaking was so violent, it felt like a tornado within a hurricane hit our house. My family and I took refuge in our home office, which is now the only part of the house that did not sustain significant damage. By the time the winds subsided, everything around us was mostly destroyed. I am grateful that our lives were spared. We are now faced with the challenge of assuming some kind of normalcy. The destruction of property is indescribable; our lives as we knew it will be forever changed.

This hurricane was a “total” “total” catastrophe. The devastation cannot be measured. The storm was forecasted to hit the region as a category five hurricane but this one was off the charts. We learned that the speed of the hurricane was 220 to 225 miles per hour when it passed over Tortola. Based on how miles per hour increases in levels, we technically received the equivalent of a category eight hurricane. The devastation is absolutely terrible, some people are still in shelters, many houses are hanging by a thread and the occupants have nowhere to go. One of the biggest needs at the moment is tarpaulin; residents need things they can throw over their house frame to create a roof to keep out the rain. With other systems threatening the region, people are deeply worried and wondering how they will survive another hit. The region just cannot survive another storm. Things are “really” “really” bad; people need food and water. The residents need things that can sustain them temporarily.

I heard that a virus broke out in one area of the island but I cannot confirm the news because there is no mention of it in the media. The communication is “very” “very” poor and is primarily via word of mouth so I have been trying to weed out rumors from reality. The one thing I am certain of that’s not a rumor is this – the BVI was totally devastated by hurricane Irma. The region is totally devastated and there is no nice way to put it.

People are trying to pick up the pieces of their lives but are finding it very difficult because they lack resources such as basic materials to even begin any type of rebuilding – not everyone has money to readily purchase the necessary items to begin the rebuilding process. Things are very difficult at the moment. It is rough!