OCTOBER 29, 2015 | The Jewish Home 40 The Week Feature In News
was sent to the region and will be there next week. It will be carrying eight more helicopters. Residents of Anguilla, though, were not mollified by the UK’s explanation. “All over the island, Anguillans are saying that the response has been really sorely lacking. We are feeling very much like the stepchild,” Josephine Gumbs-Connor, an Anguillan lawyer, grumbled.
hose who have vacationed in the U.S. Virgin Islands will see a very different territory than before the storm. The famous Asolare restaurant is gone from its perch on the cliff; multi-dollar homes and aluminum shanties are strewn along the streets. Some homes are left with just two walls; others have disappeared. Most residents are stuck without power or cell service. Irma hit the island with its full intensity. The island of St. John is now the site of Irma’s worst destruction on American soil. This week, military helicopters brought supplies, and a Navy aircraft carrier was anchored off the coast. The National Guard was patrolling the streets. The Coast Guard was ushering the last of St. John’s tourists onto large cruise ships headed for Miami and San Juan. Some locals, depressed from the destruction, were
leaving too. “Hurricanes? We’ve been through hurricanes — lots of them. But nothing, nothing, like this,” said Jerry O’Connell, a Maryland native who is now a developer in St. John. For days, the porch on Ronnie’s Pizza parlor was the only spot on St. John where anyone could get enough service to make calls. Like in other territories, lawlessness was a problem. Some people slept in shifts, so someone would always be up to keep guard. ATMs were stolen, ripped from their walls. Store windows were smashed. Gas stations were robbed. But it wasn’t just the bad apples who took advantage of the situation. Do-gooders made the most of the chaos and helped to ferry the old and infirm off of St. John. Nils Erickson, a 42-year-old Gaithersburg, Md., native and part-time St. John resident, rushed down to help. Erickson began running supply missions and evacuations. Since Friday – three days before large-scale official efforts – they managed to get 600 people off the island. So many boats came to help that the locals began to call it the “Puerto Rican Navy.” “It was our own Dunkirk,” said Sgt. Richard Dominguez of the Virgin Islands Police Department. “They took their own boats before official means were available. They didn’t wait.”
An aerial view of the Florida Keys on September 11
SEPTEMBER 14, 2017 | The Jewish Home
Stories of people handing out free food and water abound. So do instances of people assisting others, as much as they could. Kenneth Mapp, governor of the U.S. Virgin Islands, said it may take “months, months, months” before full power is restored to the island. He added that the National Guard was not able to come earlier due to the harbor being filled with overturned boats. He only managed to get to the island via helicopter.
uthorities in Havana, Cuba, cut power as a precaution before the storm hit. Residents awoke on Sunday after a night in the dark to a land of fallen trees, twisted lampposts and smashed water tanks. Havana was spared, in comparison to the rest of the island. Although the destruction was not as dense, seven people – in Havana alone – lost their lives as buildings collapsed. Ten people were killed in Cuba by the storm. Just 60 miles east of Havana, in the coastal city of Matanzas, one-story houses were completely underwater, and damage to Cayo Romano and Cayo Coco, popular tourist islands, was severe. Hotel roofs caved in, mounds of concrete and coils of steels filled lobbies. The government immediately took action, deploying trucks filled with food and equipment to remove the mounds of debris.
Collapsed buildings in St. Martin
On the other side of the island, U.S. military and their families at Guantanamo Bay breathed a sigh of relief after Irma left the island. Thankfully, all were spared.
y midday on Tuesday, Florida Power & Light Co. had restored power to 2.3 million customers in Florida who were stranded without lights or electricity since Irma smashed through. Still, at least 4.7 million people in the Sunshine State were left without power. The company said that those on the east coast of the state should expect full power back by September 17; those on the west side will have to wait until around September 22. Irma, the first Category 4 hurricane to make landfall in Florida since 2004, left mounds of debris in her wake. The Florida Keys was the first strip of U.S. land to bear the hurricane’s brunt. At least one person died there, although there was a mandatory evacuation there during the storm. Officials say that about 10,000 people stayed in the Keys throughout the storm. On Tuesday, officials opened entry into the Upper Keys for residents in Key Largo, Tavernier and Islamorada, up to mile marker 73, allowing residents to return home and see the damage for themselves. Residents of the Keys, desperate to see their homes, lined
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