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HomeNewsArchivesRED CROSS: 71 HOMES ON STX TOTALED OR BADLY DAMAGED

RED CROSS: 71 HOMES ON STX TOTALED OR BADLY DAMAGED

While St. Croix may not have seen widespread destruction from Hurricane Lenny, that’s little consolation for the residents of the houses that were totally destroyed or heavily damaged by the late-season storm.
According to Jack Mackey of the American Red Cross, response teams have found 71 homes on St. Croix since Thursday that were ruined by the storm. The Red Cross has seven assessment teams on the island, each with an interviewer, a health services expert and mental health counselor.
"The teams are meeting with people who had their homes destroyed to see what they need to get going again," Mackey said. "It may be finding a rental and supplying a deposit and first month’s rent or as simple as a new pair of shoes for the kids."
Since St. Croix hasn’t been designated as a disaster area by the federal government, most aid will come from non-governmental agencies like the Red Cross, which is funded through donations from across the nation, Mackey said.
Because markets, stores and banks are open on the island, it is unlikely that the U.S. Department of Agriculture will issue emergency food stamps, said Lt. Gov. Gerard Luz James II. Meanwhile, Mackey said Red Cross teams are trained to assess whether an affected home is habitable or not.
"If it can’t be, the people qualify for emergency assistance" from the Red Cross, he said. "We’re taking care of the real severe emergency cases."
Despite the V.I. government’s assessment that the storm caused approximately $31 million in damage to St. Croix, Mackey said the situation could be worse if not for efforts to prepare for future storms after Hurricane Marylyn in 1995. Because of the relatively low amount of destruction caused by the Category 4 storm, most of the 60-plus Red Cross staffers and volunteers from the mainland who had been deployed to the island have gone home, Mackey said.
"The feeling is really upbeat because of the mitigation after Marylyn," he said. "Now the work is really in the hands of Family Services."

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While St. Croix may not have seen widespread destruction from Hurricane Lenny, that’s little consolation for the residents of the houses that were totally destroyed or heavily damaged by the late-season storm.
According to Jack Mackey of the American Red Cross, response teams have found 71 homes on St. Croix since Thursday that were ruined by the storm. The Red Cross has seven assessment teams on the island, each with an interviewer, a health services expert and mental health counselor.
"The teams are meeting with people who had their homes destroyed to see what they need to get going again," Mackey said. "It may be finding a rental and supplying a deposit and first month’s rent or as simple as a new pair of shoes for the kids."
Since St. Croix hasn’t been designated as a disaster area by the federal government, most aid will come from non-governmental agencies like the Red Cross, which is funded through donations from across the nation, Mackey said.
Because markets, stores and banks are open on the island, it is unlikely that the U.S. Department of Agriculture will issue emergency food stamps, said Lt. Gov. Gerard Luz James II. Meanwhile, Mackey said Red Cross teams are trained to assess whether an affected home is habitable or not.
"If it can’t be, the people qualify for emergency assistance" from the Red Cross, he said. "We’re taking care of the real severe emergency cases."
Despite the V.I. government’s assessment that the storm caused approximately $31 million in damage to St. Croix, Mackey said the situation could be worse if not for efforts to prepare for future storms after Hurricane Marylyn in 1995. Because of the relatively low amount of destruction caused by the Category 4 storm, most of the 60-plus Red Cross staffers and volunteers from the mainland who had been deployed to the island have gone home, Mackey said.
"The feeling is really upbeat because of the mitigation after Marylyn," he said. "Now the work is really in the hands of Family Services."