A Message from Hannah

Hannah (left) and her mother
Hannah (left) and her mother

Today we’d like to share a message with you from Hannah Jones. Hannah lives on St. John and is currently on island. I taught her son Jack at Gifft Hill in 2015-2016. He’s a great kid and a talented musician. That’s a testament to Hannah. Hannah posted the following note on her Facebook page yesterday. It gives a good glimpse of what’s currently happening on St. John. She gave us permission to share it with all of you.

Making progress on my moms place but it’s slow going. It’s a long day for many reasons. We dropped jack off at school today, he goes from 10-2. Then we went to both hardware stores to secure a generator for my mom. No luck. Then we drive to coral bay past all the destruction. We see it every day and it is still jarring and I fight tears back each time. The devastation is indescribable and unfathomable. It looks like a bomb exploded here leaving trees bare and snapped like toothpicks. Telephone poles, matchsticks.

We go by the fire station to get our free sandwich and refugee supplies, yesterday was a small box of water, 3 small boxed milks, and 2 MREs (meals ready to eat). One was ravioli. Then we wind the way to EdeN, avoiding downed phone poles and hanging wires. They have made a lot of progress clearing the roads but not our driveway. Then I mopped up water with old towels in my moms lower level, and threw out every bookcase, everything is ruined down there. She works in the upstairs or the yard. We work hard but visually don’t see very much progress. Today we brought a cooler with us so had a cold beer in the shade surveying our work. Then we drove back to pick up jack at 2. There are 78 kids at the school, it is the only school open so public and private are all together now.

Then we went to cruz bay to register for a tarp from the army corps of engineers. Then we had our free lunch provided by Longboard – THANK YOU!!! We found bob and said hi to folks, some I haven’t seen since Irma. Eliza Magro wanted me to pass along the word that she is taking professional photos of destroyed homes and properties for insurance for $150. PM me if you need her #. Also love city strong is hiring for $10.00 / hour people to canvass neighborhoods door to door to find out what each family needs whether it be a tarp roof or whatever and make a list so assistance can get what they need. They are having a meeting from 11-2 at mongoose Saturday for more information.

Now we are “home” staying with a friend. No power so no shower but a gallon jug of water does the trick. At sundown we will have a generator to cook with, drink some wine with a little light, read GOT (ok only I do that) and go to bed and start all over tomorrow. For me it’s day 3 of doing this, since I was stranded in PR, but for everyone else it’s day 22. No one is starving. But life is not easy. Being with my family makes it easier and it hurts to know I have to leave and cannot stay to do more. I’ll do this every day with my mom until I go in a week. Anyway, just a little update. St John people can’t really get on Facebook but I thought my friends/ family stateside might like to know what we are up to. There a lot of people who may forget when the news stops or moved on to other bullshit petty things, that this reality will be going on for a LONG time. And that is just here, don’t get me started in Puerto Rico, compared to there, were looking good. Anyway, love to all and it will only get better ❤️💛💚 #lovecitystrong

10 thoughts on “A Message from Hannah”

  1. Thank you for your post Hannah. We appreciate your honesty regarding the hardships being experienced by everyone still on island. As long time yearly visitors, we decided to stay out of the way so that everyone living there can get their lives back to something resembling normal. Your post lets us know that ” normal” may take a very long time. Our hearts are with you and everyone on island as you endoure these tremendous hardships. We will continue to donate to relief efforts. You remain in our thoughts and hearts daily. ❤️

  2. Hannah! It’s so good to see your post. Matt and I have purchased 2 timeshares through you at the Westin and since our first visit many years ago we have fallen in love with St John and it’s people. ❤️. You and your family have been on our minds since the storm struck. It’s good to hear you are safe!! Please let us know if there is anything we can do to assist you and your family! We have already made a monetary donation to the chesney fund Love for Love city. I’m not sure how that will be distributed but we would love to assist with the clean up hands on. Please let us know if we can assist and we will continue to keep you and the people of St Johns in our thoughts and prayers.

    Thank you to the person who maintains this blog and for keeping those stateside updated. I check it daily. We will return soon! #lovecity

    ❤️
    Matt, Mallory, Saige, and Nolan
    Kentucky

  3. Hannah,

    I don’t know you but my sister in law has visited St. John’s for many years with her daughter and they almost consider it their second home! She posted your letter on Facebook and it touched my heart and soul, so I wanted to let you know that many people are still praying and thinking of all those who suffered from Hurricane Irma. I live on the west coast of Florida, and we got almost a direct hit from this hurricane. I realize how fortunate we were in Ft. Myers as the storm veered towards the west the last day to avoid a direct hit, otherwise, the destruction could have been a lot worse. Instead, we were spared a lot of building damage (as we got with Hurricane Charlie) and had mainly trees and lines down. My heart goes out to all of the people with homes and families in the BVI, U.S. Virgin Islands, Key West, Texas, Puerto Rico, etc. This has been a very turbulent hurricane season and we still have one month to go, but I hope that with prayers and continuing medical and financial aid that may be coming your way, things will definitely get better soon! God Bless you and your family and all those that have suffered through this with you!

  4. Hannah – Thanks so much for the update! St John is my happy place. I have been going there for many years to vacation. There’s not a day goes by I’m not thinking of the people & praying. I am sending care packages thru Adopt a Family USVI and encouraging my friends to do the same. Please let us know if there are particular needs not on the current list. We will not let these islands be forgotten! Any word on Ms Lucy’s & her animals?

  5. We are out here cheering and supporting.
    March ‘voluncation’ planned in Coral Bay.
    Thank you for what you are doing, and
    thank you for your communications!!

  6. Jenn,
    After reading all the comments from the last two weeks of articles, I have one thing to say: you sure are lucky you rent on St. John and didn’t buy your home. I imagine the real estate market is in the can. Can you imagine if you bought a house the week before the storm?! Or were scheduled to close the week after?! The expensive villas will now be needed to house workers to restore the island.
    Nobody is mentioning underground utilities. If St. John was fully underground with utilities, no one would have lost power! Please do an article on this! You have influence and you could influence them to properly rebuild. I believe many places in the BVI’s have underground utilities. It also is much easier on the eye than seeing all these telephone poles and dangling wires all over the island! The USVI’s have a lot to think about. If you live in a known hurricane zone you might want to reconsider. I’m sure you’re getting job offers in. NY or DC form all the attention this site has gotten.
    ‘Douggie Fresh’

  7. yes, she’s so lucky. she, and apparently you, have no commitment to St. John, skip in, hop the bars, hop the boats, party, leave. I know this will be blocked. But it’s the truth, from a long time St. John property owner.

  8. Thank you for these updates. We would dearly love to do something to help with the cleanup and rebuilding of St John. Coral Bay remains deeply embedded in our hearts and knowing of the extent of the devastation inspires us to offer whatever help we can from nyc. Please, when you get a moment, share a list of needed items or maybe an amazon wishlist for those of us who love this jewel of an island and want so badly to do something and give back.

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