Well folks, let’s start with the good news … Cinnamon Bay is officially reopened! Yahoo! We chatted with Darrell Echols, the acting superintendent of the Virgin Islands National Park, this morning and he said that Cinnamon was going to be officially open once again either today or tomorrow. So we may be jumping the gun here by a few hours, but it’s such great news that we had to share it!
Now onto the not so great news…
The campground and all of the facilities at Cinnamon remain closed, and they will be closed until further notice. According to Darrell, the cottages were heavily damaged. (I always thought they were made of concrete, but apparently they are made of stucco. Who knew!) Well the walls have separated, so they all will have to be torn down and rebuilt. The eco tents fared a bit better, although they too received some damage. The reverse osmosis plant sustained a considerable amount of damage and needs to be repaired. So currently there is no water source at Cinnamon.
I reached out to Redwood Parks, the company that manages the campground at Cinnamon and the concessions over at Trunk Bay, and asked them about the future of the campground and concessions. Here is the response we received:
Thank you for caring about Cinnamon Bay and Trunk Bay. Due to the damage of Hurricane Irma, visitor services at both Trunk Bay and Cinnamon Bay are closed until further notice. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the National Park Service.
Darrell and I also spoke about the archeology building that was located on the shore at Cinnamon. That building, as many of you probably know by now, has been destroyed. Luckily some of the artifacts were removed prior to the storm. Others were found on the property at Cinnamon. The building, according to Darrell, will not be rebuild and likely become a ruin. Prior to that, however, the remaining structure will have to be stabilized. It is currently fenced off for safety reasons.
Again, I want to extend a huge thank to the National Park Service for working so hard to clean up our beaches. Not only do they have to clear physical debris on land, but they also have to inspect underwater and remove any of that debris too. They also have to inspect the buoys. There is so much that goes into it, so it’s pretty incredible that they’ve been able to reopen four beaches less than three months after the strongest hurricane on record tore through our island. So again, a huge thank you National Park Service!!