I’m getting ready to get back on a plane to St. Thomas/St. John, so there’s not a lot of time to put down the volume of words that have been running through my brain over the last 5 weeks. Others have more eloquently expressed the impact of the storm on their personal and professional lives on Facebook and in texts and articles. Probably the most frustrating part for me personally is the almost complete lack of communications after the storm(s) which continues to this day.
The island will be back, the plants and animals are doing what they need to be doing and so are we. Our project performed amazingly well considering what mother nature threw at us. Given our location of the project, we basically experienced an F5 tornado for about 90 minutes. Wind gusts at some locations were reported at 247 miles per hour, and I cannot even fathom what that feels like. I am certain Calichi at Picture Point took winds in excess of 200 mph.
Bruce and the crew cleaned up the site last week, but work has not restarted in earnest as we need a generator to power the tools and every available generator is being used to provide much needed power to people who are without electricity, which is everyone. No power is expected on our end of the island for months. I do have a gas generator as checked baggage and hope Delta will let me bring it back with me.
After the storm, I looked out from our house and attempted to locate the communications tower on Bordeaux, but it was no longer there. However, I did see this tower still standing tall from my patio.
We did lose some windows due to impact from flying debris and a neighbor’s roof knocked in the wall to the bathroom on the tower villa. Our new goal, besides getting some semblance of normality back into our lives, is to complete the top four villas, bring the project totally off-grid and house people who will help St John recover from the most powerful storm ever recorded in the Atlantic basin.
We’ll need a bit more landscaping than originally anticipated…
Lost a few windows and took a hit from a neighbor’s roof. Their roof ended up next to poolside villa number 1. We don’t even know who’s roof it was.
Coral Bay got slammed and virtually any house made of wood is nothing but a pile of debris.
The 1BR Honeymoon villa with a few relocated septic tanks. You can see all the boats lined up on the eastern shore of Coral Bay. Any sailboat left, that was still floating, lost their masts.
Our excavator is now located on Centerline road, clearing landslides on an almost daily basis.
I don’t know what hit this slider, but the hurricane glass held and did not break.
We had a stack of tile outside one of the villas, but that has been redistributed around the site. I expect people to find shards of tile for the next few hundred years. It is destined to be our version of Danish delftware you find around the island.
All in all, the site fared very well considering it’s exposure and the incredible strength of Irma.
Here are some shots I took of the damage. I have hundreds of pictures. Maybe one day I will have some time to properly organize it. I cannot promise Sunday updates, as phone calls and texting remain a challenge today and for the foreseeable future.
The bottom line is that we all lived, are living and will finish this project as soon as we can in order to support the rebuild of the island we love and call home!
Have a great week everyone! We have a LOT of work to do…