Sept. 20th Update from Celia

We just received the following email from Celia, the direct of the St. John Community Foundation:

“Many Islands. One Love” A few short and intermittent Satellite phone calls and posts have come in this morning after Maria passed south of St. John and made landfall in Puerto Rico at 6:15 this morning. The 11:11 AM VITEMA Alert reported steady strong winds up to from 35 with gusts up to 50 mph for the next few hours in STT/STJ. As expected there was, and continues to be, showers and scattered thunderstorms with flooding in guts and low lying areas. Storm surge reportedly left most of the barges on STJ inoperable. Residents are asked to stay inside while the 1st responders clear the roads and assist where needed. Supplies were topped off before Maria, military and emergency responders are being redeployed, and communications are expected to resume in a slow but progressive manner. More news as connectivity improves.

We are getting many generous offers from people who want to come to the island to help in the recovery efforts. However, right now the few accommodations left intact are prioritized for displaced residents and federal disaster responders, who are also priority recipients of limited supplies of food, water, gasoline, etc. Please know that many aspects of this recovery will take weeks, months and even years ….and we WILL need you. Register online here. You will be contacted once public officials and disaster relief organizations have had an opportunity to assess the damage and identify what the specific unmet needs are.

Persons interested in helping Hurricane Irma/Maria disaster response in St. John can best support the relief effort by making a cash donation instead of sending donated goods and services at this point in time. Cash donations to voluntary disaster relief organizations enables them to purchase exactly what is most needed – http://thestjohnfoundation.org/donate – whereas donated items require voluntary agencies to spend money and considerable time for sorting, inventorying, warehousing, and distribution of smaller shipments. We will get to the point of being able to do this for donations in the coming weeks, and continue to get and appreciate bulk containers of building materials and non-perishables.

The amazing St. Johnians who have self-organized and taken it upon themselves to help each other continue to be nothing less than awe-inspiring! We are creating an inventory to share with the stateside Adopt-A-Family program for St. John families and will share details as it comes together; this kind of support will be needed for months and we would eventually like to hook you up directly with these families so you can maintain a more long-term connection with them. Until we are able to ensure efficient mail delivery, and communications are improved, we gratefully rely on federal responders and bulk deliveries of supplies from private entities to sustain immediate needs.

We will be back in response mode for the next several days, while at the same time continue to focus on long term recovery with experienced partners who have bounced back themselves after similar disasters. Support coming in now will help us revive and rebuild in what is going to be a long road ahead.

To make a donation to the Foundation for St. John IRMA-MARIA relief efforts (PayPal is waiving all fees) go to http://thestjohnfoundation.org/donate

17 thoughts on “Sept. 20th Update from Celia”

  1. Thank you for the update. All things considered we have sent $ to SJ Rescue and are planning on a mission trip to help a specific family on Bordeaux Mtn Rd. Thanks for what you are doing in these extremely trying times.

  2. I spend 3 years in the islands in the late 80s, vacationed there since and hope to retire there. My heart aches for the people and islands after being devastated by two hurricanes. I am disappointed with the coverage we are getting in the States. I would very much like to help out in some way. I have made donations two a few people that have set up Go Fund Me pages but am interested in helping in other ways. Prayers to all of you in the islands dealing with the daily struggles and recovery.

  3. Thank you for such an in depth report on the Island and the proper channels to donate through. Your information is greatly appreciated by all of us. We want so desperately to have current news and information on how to donate and help!

  4. We have always made a commitment to the Animal Care Center ST John. We are interested in connecting the Ryan as to his needs for the ACC … We want to provide financial support so please have him reach out to us as feasible. Thank you

    Kathie and Jeff Anderson

  5. Great update! Thanks for sharing in such detail.
    I have a cousin’s son, living on St John, and he’s one of many staying behind to help in the clean up and rebuild.
    Please keep us posted when the postal service resumes on St John

  6. Thank you so much Celia for these reports. We too have donated $ and I have registered with VOAD. I would also love to help in any way with the ACC St John.
    I rely on your reports for the most accurate updates.

    Bless you all. You are all in our hearts.
    Liz Hicks

  7. Looking to hear of the safety of JULES, a taxicab driver from the Westin (we usually saw him at Caneel Bay Beach Resort for a ride back to Cruz Bay). His cab is White and Red and enters from the back. We haven’t been able to hear of his and his family’s safety since before Hurricane Irma struck. He might have some connection with Love City Pan Dragons. If you know JULES — please let him know that “Mommy” is asking about his safety. Thank you so much. Love, Lois (Mommy) and Gary Griswold

  8. I have dear friends, Jim and Terri Provost that have lived on St John for years. We all met when we taught school together in St Thomas in the late sixties.
    I am very concerned about them, as they lost everything in Hurricane Marilyn and had just finished rebuilding their new house.
    I am hoping they came through these devastating hurricanes ok.
    Please, if you have any word, I would deeply appreciate hearing.
    I am available to help in whatever way I can!
    Thank you
    With deep gratitude

  9. I have a nephew in Cruz Bay, Chris Batchelor- just checking if anyone has seen/heard from him. Last we heard was after Irma, he was good- island, buildings and boats damaged, but he is ok. If anyone hears or sees him, please tell him Jamie and Chrissy are thinking about him and wishing him strength, hope and prayers. To all- BE WELL

  10. I need to know if my mom is okay. I live in Florida. Is there someone out there that can tell me if the people staying at The Westin Resort in St. John are okay? Please, I need to know if my mom is okay. I am desperate.

  11. To the love city Posse your peeps here in the USA love u very much,praises that all are safe from the arms way of Maria,can someone please pass word to our parents(helen/Paul peltier)we need a roll call that you guys +aunty Teresa/peter Germaine are doing ok. Love u guys stay safe call one of us.

  12. We are worried concerning Jenn Robinson and her husband Ashow, do you know if they are safe? Jenn has been there 32 years and had a business in Coral Bay named connections. Please let us know, and thank you for all your efforts!

  13. My sister lives on Water Island and would like to come back to the main land until things settle down. How can we get information on how she can get out.

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