Thank you. Thank you all so much. I honestly cannot say that enough. I still do not have internet access, but from what I’m hearing, our message is being heard. And that’s thanks to all of you. You are all simply amazing. Thank you so very much.

To update you since my last post, we have received some help. Women with children, and the very sick and elderly have been evacuated. Not all, but some. We’ve received some food and water. I saw a search and rescue team today. Things are happening. Not fast and not a ton, but little things are happening. And that’s a great sign.

My friends and I took a drive out to the East End today. I honestly cannot describe what I saw other than total devastation. It’s hard to put into words what it feels like to see a place you love so much completely destroyed in a matter of hours. But I am trying to stay positive, so here are my positive thoughts today…I saw seven donkeys today. Seven! They must have been so scared, but they made it. And that made me smile today. I also saw a mama pig and several baby piglets. They made it too. I’ve seen iguanas and lizards and chickens and roosters. Not as many but some are still here. That all makes me smile. I was able to go home today. That is positive. So many people on this island do not have this luxury. I am sitting overlooking Cruz Bay with a cup of wine by my side right now. The sun is setting. For a moment, if I just take a sip and look toward St. Thomas, I can pretend that everything is normal, but only for a second. Because if I turn to my left, I can see Dreamweaver crushed against the rum Hut. And to my right is more destruction. So then I wonder, what happens next? Of course I want to stay here. This is my home. I want to help rebuild. I want to help make this island thrive again. But is that possible? Will food run out? Will money run out? For all of us who rely on tourism, we no longer have income. And that’s scary. So what do we do? Work construction? I honestly don’t know.

I feel like I’m rambling. I’m sorry for that. But this is everything that’s currently running through my mind.

Ok, back to the positive. I was interviewed by the New York Times and NBC Nightly News last night…how exciting is that??!! Perhaps one of them will hire me to be their Caribbean correspondent. :)

(If you’re reading this you fancy news people, I have an undergrad in journalism and a master’s degree…hire me!! lol)

I have to go now, so I can run over to Ronnie’s Pizza and get a signal. Then I can send this to my parents up in Connecticut as a text and they can share it with all of you. :)

Oh but before I do, we are still all ok. And we’re all going to be ok. We’re a tough little island. But I’m sure you all know that by now.

Please keep sharing our stories and again, thank you everyone. I love you all.


35 comments for “THANK YOU!!

  1. don
    September 9, 2017 at 7:51 pm

    we have been praying for you , all of you ,and send our best wishes
    you are on our mind and in our thoughts and prayers here in CT
    let me know if we can help carry a message to you folks
    all our love
    don & jane

  2. Steve Thompson
    September 9, 2017 at 7:58 pm

    I’ve been on St. John with my wife and various assemblages of family members regularly since 2010. I’ve followed News of St. John since Frank was doing the Inquiring Iguana. Jenn, you do all of us who hold St. John dear proud. We will return as soon as our schedules permit and if it means that we spend a week in physical labor, we will consider it a priviledge. You’ve done a magnificent job representing the heart of our beloved island and we would be honored to meet you should the occasion arise. From all of my family, we wish you luck commensurate with your heart and love for St. John. Great things arise from great opportunities.
    Bless you.
    Steve and Melanie Thompson

    • September 10, 2017 at 9:26 am

      Thanks for the hat tip, Steve.

      Jenn … you do us all proud!!! I’m proof, you never get st john out of your system – or heart. Can’t wait for a Chesney Snapchat/FacebookLive/youtubelive benefit concert.

  3. Rico Suave
    September 9, 2017 at 8:23 pm

    Please stay dry and safe everybody. Don’t go out til it’s safe to do so and watch for downed power lines. It might be safer to stay inside and drink your cistern water for the next few months and eat fruits and bugs you can find around you. Even mosquitos have protein. Are all the houses and businesses in Coral Bay gone? I heard Kenny Chesney’s home blew away. Pretty sure he’s insured. Hope he didn’t lose that blue chair.

  4. Jay Lowe
    September 9, 2017 at 8:35 pm

    We’re so glad to get some real news. Thanks .. we’re planning on a November trip down — why? because folks like us create JOBS.. money is needed , I’d suggest looking at for money NOW.. but JOBs are important too. and all of us going back will help with that. Think about jobs.. from Ferry staff/porters at Cruz Bat, to Jitney drivers, to all the bars, waitstaff, restaurants, cooks, and all those super people who make us feel like family.

  5. Rob M
    September 9, 2017 at 8:38 pm

    I love this small but strong little island. I so desperately want to be there to help in any way I can. I know this island will recover an the sun will shine once again. Hang in there and stay strong. One Love City!!!

  6. Mary N Elzey
    September 9, 2017 at 9:03 pm

    Great job, Jenn. We care about and love STJ so much. We have donated $$ and we are doing everything we can to keep STJ top of mind in social media outlets. Please keep the updates coming. Much love from ATL, Ga!

  7. Kori
    September 9, 2017 at 9:24 pm

    We are thinking of and praying for everyone there! We love STJ and will keep telling everyone we can what is needed and how to help. We will keep the donations and supplies coming…not just now but for the weeks, months and years to come. My family and I cannot wait to get back to STJ!! #stjohnstrong

  8. OK
    September 9, 2017 at 9:39 pm

    We have a vacation planned for January 2018 and although it’s impossible to know what the conditions will be by then, we’d still really like to be there if it’s habitable and if our presence as tourists is more help than hindrance. Please keep us posted on the recovery!

  9. Shanna
    September 9, 2017 at 9:48 pm

    We love you St. John! So happy to hear some help has finally arrived! It breaks my heart to see the photos of that beautiful island just torn apart. My family has been there several times and just spent a week there in July. We hope to come back and help you rebuild soon, but sending $$$ for now. Be strong! We will be back! Sending love and sunshine from Arizona

  10. Steve
    September 9, 2017 at 10:00 pm

    The storm brought me to your little outpost but I’m with you for the duration. I’m so happy that you’re OK and I look forward to years of updates on your rebuilding journey. Keep you head up. Be the beacon to help guide others.

  11. Jan Jagerson
    September 9, 2017 at 10:19 pm

    Praying for and love St. John also. We have not heard from our friends Jones and Marge. They are at 16406 Concordia. We have been in communication with Marge’s sister and she will call us when she hears news. We are in Lakeland, MN and her sister Judy is down the pike in Afton, MN. Would love to hear something and if you know them we would love to know they are safe. THANK You and bless you.

  12. Lindsay
    September 9, 2017 at 10:48 pm

    I’ve been checking your website often for updates, and I’m so glad to hear you’re okay (and the animals, too!). St. John holds a special place in my heart even though it’s been many years since my last visit. I look forward to visiting the island again in the future. I know you all will persevere and rebuild. Stay strong and know that so many people are holding you in their thoughts and prayers. I would love to donate to aid in the rebuild, and I hope you’re able to post in the future about organizations, businesses, or people who may need support. Sending you love and virtual hugs!

  13. david rosenfeld
    September 9, 2017 at 11:02 pm

    So glad to hear you’re ok. Things can be rebuilt, people can’t. Peace and love.

  14. Steve
    September 9, 2017 at 11:05 pm

    Nothing but love! I brought my 3 girls there for a the first time a couple months ago. They fell in love with the island like I did 13 years ago. I read them stories from this site and they say the video of you talking during the hurricane. They are thrilled that you are safe and that the donkeys and iguanas are ok. (They were genuinely worried about the iguanas and donkeys.) You just made their day and mine. Everyone will continue to be in my thoughts.

  15. Sarah
    September 9, 2017 at 11:25 pm

    Thank you Jenn! We have loved ones (human and four-legged) on the island who have yet to check in, and your descriptions of the animals gives us hope. Thank you!

  16. Lea
    September 9, 2017 at 11:56 pm

    Jenn – thank you for your reporting. Like do many others have shared, I too consider St. John our island home away from home. My husband and I honeymooned there in 1994 and we have kept coming to the island every other year. Our hearts are with you all and our support – financially and spiritually. We will be back and would consider it an honor to come help rebuild. Please keep us posted and know we will keep sounding the horn here in the Hudson Valley region of NY. Stay strong and love to you all.

  17. Kacey
    September 10, 2017 at 12:03 am

    We have been praying for STJ & St Thomas. So happy to see this update from you. We too have donated money to help in the recovery and will be back again as soon as possible to support the tourism industry. Stay strong. #LoveforLoveCity #StJohnStrong

  18. John
    September 10, 2017 at 2:27 am

    Found your dad’s updates on Facebook over the past few days. At times I felt like your dad as I kept checking up on you. Glad you are ok. Photos posted on Facebook are hard to look at. I’ve been coming to St John since 1997 and will come back. I just can’t imagine what it’s like there this morning however. Stay strong!!

  19. Christine Hartman
    September 10, 2017 at 5:30 am

    Thoughts, prayers and hope coming your way from us, along with those coming from countless others who’ve found their soul-saving space on St. John and the BVIs. As former residents and frequent visitors, we’ve agonized over the anticipation of the storm and then the brutal reality of just what devastation was wrought. Heart wrenching to see the aftermath… and we’ve been so worried about everyone (two and four legged) on island…thank you for taking the time to get a post out. Please know that you and those islands are loved and not forgotten. We’ll continue to donate and support St. John from the mainland until we can physically come back to hopefully lend a hand with the rebuild in some way.
    FYI: Kenny Chesney established Love for Love City, a relief effort channeling donations directly to supporting USVI and BVI residents and can be accessed on his website
    If you have any information on other local fundraising venues, please let us know!
    Thank you again for keeping us posted with reliable information. It’s been a Godsend to hear some positive news coming out of this catastrophe!
    Be safe and stay strong, Love City!

  20. naomi
    September 10, 2017 at 8:14 am

    I am so sorry for what you are all going through. i have a wedding planned and scheduled for Jan 2018 on st. john. i will spend my week doing anything i can if the help is still needed and would’nt think of having my special day any where else. thoughts and prayers for everyone there right now. be strong.

  21. Donna
    September 10, 2017 at 8:22 am

    Thank you for the update. St.John holds a special place in our hearts. We visit every fall and were suppose to arrive on the 30th. We will be back as soon as the island is ready. So glad help is coming to you.

  22. bd
    September 10, 2017 at 9:18 am

    Glad that you are safe and so happy to read your updates. We have a trip planned in April 2018 and would like very much to join in the cleanup effort. It is too early now, but it would be great to find out about opportunities to assist when we come — we are a large group of hard workers. So sad to see the destruction that Irma has caused on St John and so many other beautiful islands… truly heartbreaking!!

  23. Karen Klay
    September 10, 2017 at 9:43 am

    Just made a donation for STJ and will probably donate more in the coming weeks! We love STJ and will be back on island as soon as the island is ready so that we can help the STJ economy with our tourist dollars. As others have said, we can also help with the recovery, rebuild, etc. I appreciate the updates you have posted and certainly understand there are more pressing issues for you and the great people of STJ at this time. Stay strong and together we can all help to rebuild the island.

  24. Jerry Dunklee
    September 10, 2017 at 10:26 am


    I’m glad you are still in one piece. I know much of the island is not. Keep covering the aftermath of the storm. It’s important to let the world know what has happened to one small place.


  25. Mary
    September 10, 2017 at 10:44 am

    We are so glad to see your post this morning!! So relieved you are ok. Thank you for the updates on the animals too. We are sad to hear about the East End, our favorite part of the island. Positively coming back to help in any way as soon as it’s possible.

  26. Marty T
    September 10, 2017 at 10:51 am

    My children and I had an awesome vacation August 5 till August 19 . Ive been visiting St John since 1992 and never go anywhere else ! In fact I was on SJ during Marilyn I have so many friends on SJ who I love dearly ! One of them has offered me a place to stay so as soon as I can wrap up some business issues here in NJ I will be back to help in any way I can, hopefully in a few weeks. I am begging all other St John fans to do the same ! Also if you can, send $$$$ !! If you are an annual SJ vacationer do not even think of going elsewhere ! Work it out and come to SJ ! It is much more for filling to help rebuild someones home or business then lay on a beach !

  27. Michael Mclean
    September 10, 2017 at 11:21 am


    Thank you so much for that emotional update on the island that I call home for one week every year since the late 90’s. I feel so helpless up here in NY. I told my wife yesterday that monetary support is a no brainer but I truly feel as though I need to do more. I want to come down and help. I think Marty says it best. This island is a part of me each and every day; from the paintings of my favorite beaches to the pen from Caneel Bay that I put in my shirt pocket every day as I head to work. More importantly its the people and beautiful souls behind these gifts that I’ve come to know over the years. This is the one place where I am truly at peace and its the connection with the people and their island that create this….

  28. patrick
    September 10, 2017 at 11:57 am

    keep up the great work Jenn!!

  29. Art
    September 10, 2017 at 12:48 pm

    Thanks for your posts, I’ve visited St John almost annually since the early 80’s haven’t been there for two years now but plan on being there again for the summer of 2018. Will make donations and put the word out for this beautiful piece of paradise…

  30. rosann hollinger
    September 10, 2017 at 1:06 pm

    Jenn, I took the liberty of posting part of your Sept 9 message… the optimistic parts followed by “… For all of us who rely on tourism, we no longer have income. And that’s scary. So what do we do?” in the St John TA Forum.

    So many of STJ fans liked your optimism… we are ready to come support the island once we are given the thumbs up!

    (: Rosann

  31. Matt Sims
    September 10, 2017 at 2:17 pm

    Thank you for the updates and we, along with others call STJ our “home away from home”! It’s our island paradise and it breaks our hearts to see the pictures of devastation from our favorite spots. My wife and I were just there 2 weeks ago and cannot wait to get back down. It would be such a blessing to give back and join a relief mission team to help where we can. God Bless you all and we send our prayers from No Shoes Nation in North Carolina.

  32. Steve from NJ
    September 10, 2017 at 3:19 pm

    We have come to St Johns 8 of the last 9 years. We will be there again in early February to help you recover. It will take time to get power and water back. After that it is a long slog on the rest of the island. Perhaps we could individually “adopt” certain businesses and/or other island activities to support with money and help getting access to government programs. This place is heaven and WE WILL REBUILD.

    Jenn- Keep up the good work

  33. Lisa DeLuca
    September 10, 2017 at 3:49 pm

    I saw you on TV this morning. I must say that never having met you in person it was finally nice to put a face to the name. I have been following your blog for a long time.
    During Irma, it was through your writing that I experienced the terror and heartbreak of the storm. Thank you for continuing to share. I am thankful that your parents are able to get your message out to all of us. I have a home on St John and hope to return soon. We all wish for a speedy recovery our island. I agree with the last comment – Keep up the good work.

  34. Nancy
    September 16, 2017 at 1:27 am

    Thank God you’re safe! Words can’t express how devastated I am for the people and wildlife on St. John!

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