All of my family on St. John, St. Thomas, and Puerto Rico are present and accounted for. I'm confident my cousins in Florida will be okay as they are on the east coast.
To say the area is devastated is an understatement. It will be 3 to 6 months before power is restored to everyone. It will take years to recover.
My sister, who lives on St. Thomas and I, were/and are mightily blessed to have had cell phone communication throughout. At the height of the storm we were talking and she said, in this very calm voice from the bathtub where she was huddled, "There goes the roof." Luckily it was "only" her porch rood which was picked up and hurled over the rest of the house and landed a good 40 feet on the hillside behind her house. Perhaps caused by one of those 200 plus mph gusts...
The trees and bushes have been blasted, branches twisted off, tossed aside and leaves stripped off. Many trees have had the bark stripped off them. One has to wonder how many trees will die.
If you have the stomach, a few random pictures with locations.
A section of our property on St. John. Most of the buildings survived in tact but have damage. The mahogany tree on the right will come back as will the tree on the left.
Cruz Bay, St. John
Cruz Bay, St. John. That's three boats piled on the beach next to the ferry dock.
St. Thomas - The difference between a good roof and cheap roof. Cost-U-Less, a large bulk grocery store. In front, relatively untouched, the movie theater and shops.
Boat yard - St. Thomas
Disappearing road - St. Thomas
Looking towards town - St. Thomas
Beautiful Magens Bay - St. Thomas
The Harbor and down town - St. Thomas
Typical hillside - St. Thomas
The famous Bluebeard's Castle, St. Thomas
Interior of the hospital, St. Thomas. Despite a concrete roof the 3rd and 4th floors were destroyed. Patients have been evacuated to St. Croix and Puerto Rico.
A church on St. Thomas.
Please keep my beautiful island home, and all those in the Caribbean affected by this storm, in your thoughts and prayers.
It is a bizarre and surreal experience to watch TV or open my fridge or sleep under a roof or drive unhindered to the grocery store or flip on a light switch or turn on a water tap, when I know my sister will not be able to do any of those things for a long time.
I will be off my blog for an indefinite period of time.
I'm thankful all my family and friends are alive and okay.