Monday Update: Our voices are being heard!! There is a Navy ship here! Armed police officers from St. Croix are patrolling the streets! Our voices are being heard!!
To the very few of you who’ve said the intention of my last post was to cause panic and invoke fear, shame on you. You have no idea what is happening here. What I wrote is real. It was not a “rant” – it was true feelings. So again, shame on you who have said otherwise.
I cannot wait until I am back on the mainland so I can share our stories … so I can talk about how my friends were forced to hide under tables for hours after their roofs blew off … others held mattresses against blown out doors … so I can tell you how my good friend kept her young children calm while 19 people and several dogs hunkered down in a laundry room after the “hurricane-proof” glass blew out in most of their home. I can’t wait to share the stories of the business owners who’ve been looted and those who are too afraid to reopen. I will not be silenced. I will not give up. I will never turn my back on this community I love so much.
I am am trying to stay positive. I am trying to stay calm. No one loves this place more than me. Those of you who followed News of St. John before the hurricane know that. And that’s all I need.
Much love to my supporters. Chat soon.
Sent from my iPhone
93 thoughts on “Monday Update:”
Hi Jenn –
I’ve been vacationing on St John for almost 20 years. Can you recommend a charity we could donate to where the money would go directly to those who need it? Also, what about a school that perhaps we can have our kids school “adopt” and send supplied. We are in Alexandria, VA and my children attend a Catholic school here. I’d love to find a way to have kids help kids. Thanks and we have reservations in April 2019 – we will all come back.
Thank you so much for the update and shame on anyone who criticized
you. I have really been worried about the people I know , and you
have been able to at least reach out and share. We love this Island,
and want to see help and restoration. Please continue to write!
I am a descendent of Capt. Ingjald C. Mourier who lived at the Lameshure Plantation during the 1800s. I’ve been to St Jan. It breaks my heart to read about what is happening there in the aftermath of hurricane Irma.
I am glad to hear help has arrived. All of you continue to be in our thoughts constantly and we wish there was more we could do to help right now. Stay strong. xo
Just opened your Monday blog. We have always trusted you to tell it like it is. When it’s good, we can feel it through your words and your passion. Now that it has turned bad (hopefully temporary), we look to you for the same truth and passion. It is YOUR VOICE that speaks to us, always.
I am so happy to see this update! We want to hear the truth about what is happening on the island and consider it a privilege to help in any way we can. We will keep making phone calls, keep sharing stories and keep donating for as long as it takes. We love STJ! We will be back to STJ! There is no storm big enough to change that! #stjohnstrong
We hope to come back soon and visit STJ. We have been coming there for years and love that island and all the people there. Hang in there – we are all waiting to return.
Any way to SAFELY send pictures ?
I’m glad to know things are looking up. There seemed to be many people who needed help.
Was there any sort of island or neighborhood ” emergency plan”?. We have them here is California for earthquakes, so that each neighbor knows where to go and who to contact as a group, expecting power, phones etc to be out. It includes at least two people to have lists of who is in the group, and how to contact their next of kin if needed. Each family has a list of emergency supplies that they need to stock, supplying themselves for a week. We keep ours in a bin away from the house. Sounds like you’d need to gave a hole dug to keep them safe? There is also a predetermined location for everyone to check in, so the neighbors know who is missing and can go look…
I’m sure you have this, but I haven’t been hearing, and was wondering, I can also recommend a guy who did the San Francisco emergency planning… http://www.luciencanton.com/
Glad to hear you are feeling better about things on St. John. I’ve been there a half dozen times and I’ve told people for years it’s my favorite place to visit. The people are great, the beaches are the best in the world and the weather is perfect (except when a hurricane blows through). Tourism will return very quick because there is just too much to offer there. Ignore the people (like Jackie) that just use their keyboard to show their ignorance. It’s a time that we should be encouraging people that have been through a rough time. Stay strong…better times are coming.
No one has any right to criticize you. People have no idea what happens during a disaster so they have no place to think they know even a little bit of what you are going through.
Thank you so much and keep updating us. I have been visiting the island for over 30 years and want to come back.
When the island is ready for help to rebuild please let us know. We will come not for a vacation but to help, understanding it will not be like any other time we have spent on that wonderful island, but will be worth it!
I was affected by a disaster and lost everything when I was young, many strangers came to help rebuild. So I have and will continue to repay the favor. As soon as people can come to the island to help with restoration let us know. We will be there!
Keep yourself safe but do not give up.
Please continue to write!
Glad you are OK! We are slated to come to St. John on October 13. Still not sure if we should make the trip so I thought I’d solicit some thoughts on it. Right now we’re not sure if the place we rented (an Airbnb) is even still there… so there’s that. I know that getting tourists back on the island is essential to many small businesses. But we don’t want to be a burden, and of course we want to be safe. I’ll be following your blog to keep apprised of whether it makes sense to come or whether we should make alternate plans. Either way, we’re going to make a donation to Hurricane relief on St. Thomas and St. John. We love it there. I am sure you all will pull through!
Same for us, we have a trip scheduled for November, would love to turn it into a “helping” trip if needed. Please keep posting about that…we want to help but not burden. And speaking to the negative comments, I don’t believe that Jenn is referring to the STJ community as a whole, but rather the behavior of a small percentage that threatens the whole. This things unfortunately bring out the worst in people regardless of where it happens. It is not unheard of to require police protection and enforcement during a disaster. I’m glad to see STJ is getting that protection. This community will rally , there is far more love and good souls than bad.
I love your idea of a working vacation!
Same here, my wife and I and our kids are supposed to head down in April. However, based on the video I saw on You tube yesterday, the house we rented in Great Cruz Bay appears to be vaporized.
Fred, I echo your sentiments. My girlfriend and I are slated to visit beginning 10/19. This was to be the first of pre-move visits over the next few years. Irma will not deter us in our long term plans, but I am afraid of being a burden and do not want to take away from what really matters at this point. We have discussed providing assistance in anyway we can while we are there as well.
We were supposed to stay at the St. John Inn and I have no idea of what condition it may be in at this time.
I emailed the good folks at the St. John Inn this morning and advised if they cannot accommodate us to please donate a portion of our deposit to the fund set up by Kenny Chesney.
Start with keeping tabs on your flight. The St Thomas airport suffered a lot of damage and is closed to commercial flights “until further notice”.
Some people have already received cancellations on their reservations (without asking); I would expect your Airbnb person to get in touch as soon as they are able.
I as well have and airbnb in December but after looking over the photos and seeing the devastation believe it will be longer than that before things get back to a livable state. And even years before things will be normal again… All we can do is donate and give words of encouragement.
So happy to hear help has arrived. Stay strong. Stay safe.
Much love from the mainland. We will be back.
Thank you for the update. I am very heart broken to hear what is happening on St. John and the destruction Irma has caused. Hope normalcy comes to the islands soon. Peace
Thank you for your posts and honesty. People are amazing – disasters bring out the worst in some people, but they are usually the few. The people who love STJ are praying and crying and watching and sending money and waiting for the time that we can come down to help clean and rebuild.
We from NH love St. John. Thank you the updates. Wish I could drop everything and come help care for the pets and animals. Read a blog, that people are being evacated, but no pets are allowed. Please clarify, that would be cruel to do. Animals are afraid and wouldn’t understand being abandoned. Please tell us they are being helped too.
So happy to hear some news from STJ. We’ve come for 25 years and will be back for 6 weeks Feb- Mar. We are older and a little worse for wear, but found out our rental house is intact, so we will be there to help where we can. Donated to Kenny Chesney’s site. Is there another donation site for STJ? We want to help with what can be done now. Sending our loving vibes to you from Minnesota.
Sent in the contact me page, but sending again here in case this method is better in light of Irma-related tech issues:
I grew up sailing in the VI on my family’s Morgan. My parents also lived there for a number of years in Compass Point Marina on STT. I love the VI like a home and am heartbroken to hear and see the news coming through–first from my friends and now from the media. I have so many close friends who live in the VI, whether on boats or in homes–many of whom are struggling right now.
I have been anxiously reading all of your posts. Thank you for keeping everyone informed! So glad to hear help is starting to trickle in. When I saw your post about contacting media, I wrote a letter to the editor to the NYT. I am sure many people did the same, all thanks to you. I am so glad to see your update that the media are finally speaking more about the situation that is unfolding in the VI in the wake of Irma.
There have been many posts about charities and gofundme pages. I know many of us stateside are having a hard time deciding which charities will put our donations to the best use. I know you must be so busy right now, but one thing that would be truly fantastic is a boots-on-the-ground perspective of what would be the most high impact charities to support right now.
Thank you for all you do!
(p.s. I love News of STJ! I read every one–forwarded to me by my mom. Just signing up as a subscriber now to boost your subscribership. Hadn’t thought to do that sooner, my apologies!)
Jenn, I am with you 100% on this. You’re St John’s journalist. It is your obligation to tell the truth. You get ’em girl!! Give Mike a hug from me.
Did you mean “martial law?”
Jackie – if Jenn is nothing but a whiner and complainer for being a voice for a beautiful island and simply stating how she feels what does that make you for attacking her? A malicious internet troll? You are not forced to read this blog. You are not required to agree with her. However, if you treat all others with the same lack of respect and bitter judgement that you treat Jenn, it may be best if you left the island and never came back. Requesting a military presence for policing purposes does constitute martial law if all of your normal rights are left intact. She simply requested a useful police force to provide safety for all law-abiding residents from the few bad apples. She never criticized the entire population. She simply reported facts. I don’t know you, Jackie, and I don’t know Jenn, but from everything I’ve read Jenn seems sincere and Paul (see below) is right.
Thank you. -Jenn
I am hoping I never meet you Jackie. You sound like a miserable human being. Kuddos to JEN for keeping a positive outlook on what is happening. I, for one, and I know I am amongst thousands that love JEN and her blog. Be safe, I can’t wait to meet you JEN, when we come visit our very special Love City!!!
How trite. You assume so many things; all of which are wrong.
Folks, do not feed the trolls. They just grow fatter and meaner the more you respond. Picking on people like Jenn is their idea of fun.
Stay safe. Watched WH briefing and it says 9 ships on the way to VI’s. Aircraft carrier and other ships.
The following boats are en route.
Abraham Lincoln – aircraft carrier with 80+ helicopters
That’s the 7 they listed but said 9 total. Hopefully some support arrives soon. Just trying to update everyone per the briefing I watched.
At least 3 of those ships are dedicated to swift troop transport (Kearsarge, Wasp, Iwo Jima) – and 3 of them are designed to carry a significant number of helicopters, so they’ll be able to move people and supplies where needed. Not sure why the Lincoln is being deployed, but I read once about how in the 30s a US carrier was docked in a port in the PacNW and was able to supply electricity for the community, just using its own generators. Maybe these other ships can do something similar – jumpstart the grid.
Anyway, the Kearsarge and Oak Hill are detailed here: https://news.usni.org/2017/08/30/uss-kearsarge-uss-oak-hill-leave-thursday-hurricane-harvey-relief-operation
This is a good thing!
You really are an idiot Jackie.
I sense so much bitterness and anger with her. I, however, will focus on helping St John rebuild, even if it means coming down there and helping. I know I’ve made my monetary donation. Actions, not words…. let’s all help the beautiful island that we love!
Where is Frank Barnako? He actually started this lovely site in 2004 Has he yet to chime in?
This shows the true impact.
As beautiful as St. John is, times like this can bring out the ugly in people. I’m really glad that some WORKING police officers have arrived. And yes, archive what you have seen and endured and share it later. Maybe your police will improve as a result. I hope to visit St. John again next June. And am sincerely hoping that my good friend, Robert Wolfe on Estate Eden is okay. Someone said they heard he was okay, but no direct sightings. Probably a lot of that right now. Just know you are all in our thoughts and prayers, and i am gladly sharing what you write on Facebook. Hang in there, the cavalry is coming!
Hang in there just heard Homeland Security is sending people your way.
Keep all of us STJ fans posted, please. Love the island… been coming for 25 yrs. Thinking of all the people who make this island thier home. Hope you get help quickly! Prayers from PA.
Thanks for update. As I wrote earlier I lived on St. John from 1989 for 11 years. I built a home over Rendezvous Bay and started a business in the Boulon center named Bestech. St. John is in my soul and blood. I have been crying a lot. I know what you are going through. I lived there for Marilyn and other storms. Marilyn devastated us . I think Irma might be worse. I wish I could come down there and help. Unfortunately it is not possible. I think about all of you and what you are going through….I hope my old friends…the Bob Gross family…the Rutniks, the Schnells…Roger and Fran, Gerald Singer,Rosemond Dane, Ronnie and Leslie are all safe and my heart goes out to all of you. Diane
Thanks for the update. My friends have been living there for a year or 2. Trying to get them out. I feel better after reading this post.
Hugs and love from NC
be safe all!!! Puerto Rico is here to help you all!
Jenn – ‘In St John, the Sun will come out….” . terrible things have happened, but
the Sun ALWAYS comes back out.
Thank you for your posts! I know it’s hard to do, but so many of us look forward to yournotes on what’s really happening! ..thank your dad too!
We’ll be back as soon as you (StJ) can accept us. I know that goes for a lot of my friends too.
I have been reaching out to everyone I could think of to share your plight. Keep doing what you are doing!
Best comment I have read all day
Thanks for providing a bit of perspective on this. My wife and I were planning to come to St. John for our anniversary in October. We’re a pretty adventurous sort, but don’t want to be a burden on the island during the rebuild. What do you think the earliest “tourists” should consider visiting would be? This trip was planned to be Oct 13-17, which is a little less than 5 weeks from now.
Our Alabama town got hit and destroyed by the April 27, 2011, tornado. We had to have the National Guard out patrolling the streets and a curfew was in effect for at least a couple of weeks if not longer. People were looting and robbing, so I know how it feels to suddenly feel unsafe in your hometown. Those of you who have stated on here that you went through Katrina or some other disaster understand this too. Disasters tend to bring out the best in some people but the worst in others unfortunately.
Jenn, I’m so happy to hear that help has arrived. Please stay safe and hopefully things will get better soon. We will be back to STJ as soon as we can. We are praying for you and everyone still on island. #StJohnStrong
Been there only 4 times but St. John is paradise and always will be. Your site is the first site I brought up to find out how Irma was affecting St. John. Keep telling it like it is and don’t bother to respond to the negative comments. The people that post that stuff are A——-! Keep on keeping us informed. Despite the devastation I am considering coming in early December. I know you will keep us all posted on the progress of recovery.
Can you tell me if there are any ferrys running between the islands yet or if that is a stupid question, when it might happen?
So glad to hear you have received relief in the form of working police officers. Please let us know what we can do to help. We feel helpless.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all you do. You are our number one source of information about St John, our “second home”. We find a way to visit paradise once or twice a year, and are ready to help with the rebuilding if and when it’s feasible. Information on the airport opening is first priority.
You and everyone on the beautiful island continue to be in our thoughts and prayers! Jen we have been faithfully following you for years. When we were there last year we were telling Steve from barefoot cowboy how you do the most amazing job!!! No kidding! You keep us so informed and we commend and respect you for that. You have a long road in front of you. Stay strong, never change and hope to meet you some day.
Shelly and Steve
So glad to hear some help is trickling in for you and all of St John. You are doing all of us a service with the blog by giving us a window into the goings on down there. We all want to take care of the island and are relieved to get any scrap of info, good or bad, so we can help where needed.
Keep it coming and be safe.
Jenn, I hope Senator Joe Manchin’s office was able to reach you. He was going to do all he could to send help to Cruz Bay and also Coral Bay which is even more cut off.
Jenn or somebody on St. John, We can get a container to St. John! Specifically, what do you need. I’m thinking we would send it to Fr. Anthony at Our Lady Catholic Church, or Todd at Cruz Bay Landing. I need instructions, I need to talk to Todd or Fr. Anthony. Can you contact them. My contact email: [email protected] or text to 616-437-3706. We made the container arrangements, but we have to know what people need. Rod Ellis
Jenn, I just started reading your blog about 10 days before the storm. So it has been interesting. I live on Bonaire far away from the usual hurricane zone. But my spouse and I were brainstorming about possibly moving to another island lately. Saint John was appealing even though we’ve never been there. Now, I still find myself somewhat intrigued. Weird, but I know the island will come back. Maybe we will see you in the next year. Keep up the blog. Your sincerity and love for the island makes for powerful writing. Game on.
I would love to meet you and show you around. We will bounce back. I am certain of it. -Jenn
Your white privledge is overflowing.
I cannot believe this comment! You want to turn this into class/color warfare when a hurricane has no idea what color anyone is nor does it care! Are you one of the looters?
Jenn, God bless you and stay strong! We are 100% behind you and were also doing everything we can from stateside to try and get you help!
I’m pretty sure this is just “Jackie” trolling under a different name. Again, just ignore “her”.
So glad to hear that some help has arrived!! Prayers continue!!
Where the hell do you live Jackie? Have you never seen looting and the dangers the come up after a storm like this? You’re an idiot!!!
Jenn thanks for keeping us posted. STJ actually made it on the evening news but it was very very brief. I hope your voice continues to come through. I lived there in the 70’s and have been going for over a decade and it’s so sad to hear what’s going on. We are scheduled to return in five weeks but I don’t think the island will be ready and don’t want to be a burden either.
Please continue to keep us posted.
Jen, thank you for the update and all the work. I am glad professional police are arriving as is supplies. I can’t imagine what everyone has gone through on STJ. God Bless you all and remember, things will be very hard but they also will slowly improve. The good people on STJ have too much spirit to be overshadowed by the criminals.
Nancy, well said !
So Love City is now Thug City?
Jenn, thanks for your intrepid reporting. Ignore the haters and the trolls. Good luck and hang in there. Better days are on the way.
I get that it’s emotionally charged, but the resources and solutions can only be produced and provided if the problems are known. Don’t shoot the messenger. The information and connections made through this site ( and a few others ) for this disaster have eclipsed anything the government could provide and should serve as an example why these channels prior to catastrophic events. This may sound dramatic, but these efforts, and many others (the helicopter footage, the folks cooking and providing… etc.) are nothing less than heroic.
Thank you. -Jenn
Thanks for your timely updates. Appreciate the honest comments from someone who experienced what none of us could imagine. Sad that the local police and a few thugs are making a bad situation worse. I’d be curious to know if the looters grew up on island or were from somewhere else.It would be even more sad if native St Johnians were preying on their neighbors. Given the slow pace of building when times are good, I’m worried about how long it will be to return to normal. We will continue to watch and hope we can return in the next few years.
Wishing you safety, peace, and order in the upcoming days. We were blessed to take our first trip to St. John this January, and yours was the first blog I found, and still have continued to read.
Unless you have visited your beautiful island, I think it;s hard for people to understand how isolated you are….how there is still a third world feel to your island (which is why it is so underdeveloped and still retains it’s natural beauty).
Following Irma, I was heartbroken to hear it was headed to your island, and I understood how much more difficult it would be for all of you.
My prayers are with you all, and I hope all the help you need arrives soon!!
I feel you have been nothing but positive and pretty upbeat about the horrific past week.
It’s so sad that in times of despair, you see the worst of some people..
but you also get to see the best of people-and I am praying that over the next few weeks you get to see an overwhelming amount of the good!!
Continue to let us know any way we can help-and the best way to donate that benefits your island directly.
Keep the updates coming- hoping that the next few days bring calm and safety and much needed supplies.
I commend Jenn for presenting her perspective earned by years on the ground. It is only through the clarifying perspective of truth that problems can be addressed effectively. Also I would like to see someone local to St. John start a Gofundme and or Patreon page to precisely address the needs of St. John it’s rebuilding and the support of those who live there.
Jenn, thanks so much for bringing attention to this desperate situation in St. John. I have seen some of the videos and it is breaking my heart. It is wonderful that some help is getting there, after all, it is the U.S. Virgin Islands and you should get the full support and benefit that the United States can provide.
I have checked, and there are several gofundme.com sites for St. John support. I would love to know what the best one is so we can donate.
Thank you so much for your point of view on the destruction of St. John. I have grown to love this beautiful island. We had plans to return in. March 2018. I hope it is still possible. Please continue to let us know what is going on there and how we can best help.
“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)” – September 9th
“Our voices are being heard!! There is a Navy ship here! Armed police officers from St. Croix are patrolling the streets! Our voices are being heard!!” -September 11th
Jen: I’ve been reading your blog and I wonder if you aren’t caught up in believing in your own self importance. The words you use makes it appear as if you seem to think that the US Navy and police are arriving at St. John because of “your voice”? Do you think they otherwise would not have come?
You write in a style in which you seem to think yourself the Evita Person of St. John…. “Much love to my supporters….” And as if yours is the only viewpoint which counts… As if anyone who expresses a contrary opinion is wrong….”Shame on you who have said otherwise.”
Don’t get me wrong. I want to hear what you have to say about the situation. But stick to reporting the facts. And come on… step back from your delusions of importance. You are a woman blogging (not “reporting”) from a tough situation… a situation shared by thousands of other people…many of which cannot escape to the mainland like you can. They are stuck in a situation that you can leave when the going gets tough.
I appreciate what Jenn has done on this blog, and I don’t think she has an overly-important view of herself. She is a member of the blogging community focused specifically on St. John; she does have a fair bit of readers as evidenced by the comments here, and she’s providing a valuable service by sharing her opinion.
As far as her “Shame on you…” comments; I agree with her. She was not being unkind to point out what was happening on the streets of St. John in the hours after the hurricane subsided, but the people who were responding to her were definitely being unkind. And saying “Shame on you” to someone who is being unkind is an appropriate response.
Finally, no one has to read this blog. And bringing awareness to the situation on the USVI back to the mainland is a good thing. It’s needed, and Jenn’s voice is one among many. (Note how she said “our voices” not “my voice”). I think that’s all pretty positive.
Thank you Fred. -Jenn
Thank you for your updates. I have so much love for the island and all who live there. Unfortunately devistation brings out the best and the worst of people- thank goodness lawful order is being restored on the island! I ,too, have been through destruction from hurricanes living in New Orleans and you just have to stay positive and move forward anyway you can.
Can’t wait to be able to travel back to StJ and support you!
Love for Love City❤️
Let us know here in the Continental US what we can do. I donated to Kenny Chesney Foundation. What else can I do? I could travel there but would need a group or mission to sign up with. I can afford the flight and expect nothing but mission type place to sleep. I just need to know the best place to sign up with and asking for your recommendation.
so Jackie is now KEDS?
Hey there Frequent Visitor Ron: In as much as you are not Jenn (or Jenn’s father) I am not not Jackie.
You sure sound like “Jackie the Vicious”!!!
Shared your news, glad it helped. You’re all in my thoughts, and I hope that soon this is all a horrid memory. It brings home to all of us how thin the line is between civilization and the opposite. Thanks. <3 <3
KEDS… not the time to break each other down. This war will be won with a lot of little Heroes doing a lot of little things. sharing information and helping is vital now. Keep the info flowing, good and bad and let’s help each other. Peace to you and all.
Only you and your fellow islanders truly know what you have gone through. To those that want the news sugar coated, go to the candy store. Fear of the unknown future can be as devastating as a storm. Take it one day, one hour or even one minute at a time. You are in our thoughts and prayers and wish nothing but the best for you.
Hey! Much Love from Virginia! Has anyone started a list of MIA or deceased persons? We are not getting much news yet except that you may have to leave. Let us know wht they are saying and is help is arriving. HUG~ )
Thank you for your honesty, Jenn. I don’t wish what you went through on anyone – especially in your happy place (as it is mine as well). There are a lot of us trying to get supplies and aid. Voices are being heard. A lot more media is picking up on the USVI/BVI damage. Stay strong! xo
On a local Vermont, country radio station,the DJs started talking about Kenny Chesney’s “Love for Love City Foundation”. They must have spent 10 minutes about Kenny Chesney, his love for St John, the impact of Irma on the Island and how this foundation is going to help.
The news is getting out, and help is on its way.
You are a total jerk and a vicious one at that. How dare you! Shame on you!!! I have visited STJ 11 times and love the island and all of it’s beautiful people. Can only hope I never meet you when I return!! AND I WILL.
Thank you, Jenn for all the information about STJ. I would love to come help also. How & who do I contact to make that happen? Also my family is supposed to be staying at the Weston in May 2018. I know that is a long way off, but I haven’t seen any information about any of the resorts & how they are doing after Irma. Do you have any info? Thanks for your blog. Bless you.