Wednesday, December 13, 2017 8:33 pm Last modified: 6:01 pm

U.S. Virgin Islands Will Recover After Hurricanes Irma and Maria

Dear Source:

          The U.S. Virgin Islands is a proud, primarily black, U.S. territory located in the Caribbean. More than 106,000 residents in total live on the islands of St. Croix, St. John and St. Thomas, struggling to recover from two major hurricanes. On September 6, Hurricane Irma lashed St. Thomas and St. John as the eye of the storm passed north over the islands. Causing destruction to houses, government buildings, hotels and hospitals, it left 5 deaths on the island of St. Thomas. St. Croix, the largest of the U.S. Virgin Islands, was spared and was used as station to transport people and provide resources on the affected islands.

Then two weeks after Irma, another Category 5 storm, Hurricane Maria, approached the region striking St. Croix with heavy rainfall and damaging winds, then headed towards Puerto Rico causing destruction on the island of 3.4 million people that has been facing a financial crisis for years. After the storm hit there, many people in the mainland thought about their government financial crisis and responded after seeing what Maria did to ravaged Puerto Rico on the news, and the U.S. Virgin Islands wasn’t mention in the headlines. For years the Virgin Islands have been facing a crisis and on per capital the government debt of approximately $6.5 billion is higher than Puerto Rico’s $70 billion in debts.

America should be ashamed because both territories deserve the same treatment, and over the past years many people moved to the mainland for opportunities. The people of the U.S. Virgin Islands shouldn’t be discriminated because of the color of their skin, race or features

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God created all of us equal. They can’t vote for the president but are American citizens and salute the U.S. great seal on their flag.

In September at Trump press conference in Washington D.C., the prime minister of Spain was there for Puerto Rico. I think the Denmark prime minister should have been there to represent the U.S. Virgin Islands formerly the (Danish West Indies). The islands were purchased by the United States in 1917 and was punched by two major hurricanes during their centennial year. I heard resources was going to St. Thomas and they sent them to Puerto Rico. They treated us bad we aren’t a third world country. We are a U.S. territory.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), other federal partners, non-organizations, the local business community, private citizens including St. Croix native NBA legend Tim Duncan, New York current governor Andrew Cuomo and former mayor Michael Bloomberg, cruise and airlines provided supplies to the territory and the U.S. Military transported people to the mainland for medical treatment after the two main hospitals on both islands of St. Thomas and St. Croix was destroyed.

After Hurricane Irma strike the islands. President Donald Trump of the United States said he will visit the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico to view the damage the storm caused on both territories and was delayed by Maria. Then after Ria slammed Puerto Rico, Trump decided to visit the ravaged island and St. John and St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands was devastated by Hurricane Irma before. During the president arrival in San Juan on October 3, 2017, Governor Mapp met with Trump offshore from the territory to discuss rebuilding schools, hospitals and putting the territory’s power distribution system underground and a Medicare reimbursement cost share from the federal government that is similar to what the states pay.

I think the president should have visit or oversight the destruction of the both hurricanes caused in the territory because the islands are 40 miles away and is close to Puerto Rico. Many people was angry and called it a disgrace after being forgotten. It is worse than 1995 Hurricane Marilyn. Our people need food, water, shelter and restoration of power. Over the past days people have been waiting in long lines for ice and other supplies. The governor need to ask for more assistance and fight for the people. “They can’t survive on Vienna sausage.”

Last month Governor Kenneth Mapp had a meeting with the Department of Tourism and Charlotte Amalie business owners about inviting cruise ships back to the territory on October 15. I think cruise ships shouldn’t return now because there is still debris on the roads, some business without power, hotels sustained serve damage and there nothing for tourists to view. Schools didn’t open for the year and the children need an education. I think the students aren’t ready for school because they experienced the storms, some lost their homes, supplies and government employees who are leaving the territory for healthcare and a better life should receive a paycheck or package.

According to the Department of Justice, 30 deaths in total territory-wide approximately five homicides, others from natural causes, and five from injuries sustained during the two hurricanes was reported. Virgin Islanders have to work together and rebuild for the future.

The territory will recover from Hurricane Irma and Maria. VI Strong. God bless the people of the United States of the Virgin Islands.

Sean Connor Jr., St. Thomas

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  1. Anonymous Reply

    Sean Connor Jr Corrections : God bless the people of the United States Virgin Islands.

  2. Anonymous Reply

    To donate to the victims of Hurricane Irma and Maria in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
    Go to usvirecovery.org

    Americans in the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico need help.
    On Monday Oct 9 is PR/VI Friendship Day. It is celebrated to honor the unique relationship between Virgin Islanders and Puerto Ricans. The holiday is in place of Columbus Day, due to the controversy surrounding the atrocities committed against the indigenous inhabitants of the Caribbean during Spanish colonization of the region. St. Croix is an Puerto Rican community and the event is taken place on the island over the past years.

  3. Anonymous Reply

    America is responsible for it territories and over the past years people from Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands moved to the mainland for opportunities after the both territories government faced crisis.

  4. Karla Allen Reply

    Someone at StThomas Source should have proof-read this very sincere article! He has many good points, but is sometimes difficult to grasp due to several errors! Good for him, though..too many people are being silent!

  5. Anonymous Reply

    Sean Connor Jr : Thank you Karla Allen. Before I submitted the letter I checked for errors and not was wrong. The Source change and remove words.

    In the first paragraph, I had : More than 106,000 residents in total living on the islands of St. Croix, St. John and St. Thomas are struggling to recover from two major hurricanes.

    Causing destruction to houses, government buildings, hotels, hospitals and left 5 deaths on the island of St. Thomas.

  6. Anonymous Reply

    Sean Connor Jr : I wroted this article to movitated the people of the Virgin Islands because some said they feel forgotten and more help is coming soon.

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