Sept. 28 Update from Celia

Island Days – Island Ways.  There is some stop and go, intermittent service at the bank, with potable water at Cinnamon and in other areas of daily life…but as they say in the islands…soon come. There were some wide eyes from stateside responders as it was announced that the x-ray machine was down at DeCastro, so people needing x-rays were being sent to the vet –  but we get it. Internet, postal service, phone service gas, school, business opening, car barge, people ferry schedules and more are covered in previous posts.

Mercy Ship will be taking 200 St. Johnians on Saturday – still time to sign up Friday from 12:30-3:30 at the Tourism Office in the park by the Post Office.

Up on the roof: Army Corps of Engineers will be set up one more day in Cruz Bay at Connections and then will move out to Coral Bay to get the ROE (Right of Entry) to install the sheathing/tarps mentioned in previous posts. Check at Fire Station for exact location. IMPORTANT to note that even if you have signed up at VITEMA you will have to  register with the Army Corps of Engineers. Again, ask for credentials if contactors come to your house.

One man’s trash: A dedicated barge for trash is removing approximately 22 bins a day from STJ to STT and will be adding extra bins at trouble spots. Please household waste only – do not bring construction, galvanized roofing or green waste to the bins.  Wastewater challenges have also been successfully addressed and continue to be monitored. Please do not burn trash – fires can get out of control and fire department is already busy enough! Debris removal costs are being covered by the Federal Gov’t and there was a call for RFP’s to contract the work locally!

Let there be power:  A larger generator is on the way to Coral Bay to replace the smaller one at the Fire Station, which will go to the Bethany Moravian Shelter – thanks FEMA – they are also making sure that the schools have the generators they need to enable public schools to start on Oct 9th. St John Hardware will have more generators on Monday.  ATT barge of equipment has left the mainland and service restoration is around the corner.

Red Cross in Action:  ARC is working with DIRT Team to distribute more cleaning kits on Monday. They estimate that 85% of people in Coral Bay have received Clean Up Kits. Volunteers are needed to help distribute these – if you can, email [email protected] or leave your name at the Fire Station in Coral Bay or with the Red Cross Shelter Managers at JESS/Bethany. They are still supporting the service of 2000 meals a day between Longboard and Cruz Bay Landing (at least through Tuesday), with meals delivered to Coral Bay (let us know that you receive these!)

Hungry as a horse: Starfish got a delivery today! Water was also distributed to people today and VITEMA will continue MRE/Water/Misc distribution tomorrow (Fri) from 12-3 in Cruz Bay on the ball field and from 9-2p in Coral Bay. Anticipate reduction in VITEMA distribution as stores start doing business – local businesses need your support! Dr Heidi organized feed to come in from STT and horses now have water. The Animal evacuation team is stuck in Atlanta at the moment, as people take priority, but they will be underway ASAP!

Medical news: If you have insulin that needs to be kept cold, according to the Com of Health, contact the Dept of Health or through the EOC/VITEMA to request a small generator (it will not be bigger than one to run the fridge). The Johns Hopkins Psychological Counselors will be in Cruz Bay and Coral Bay, and a DMAT team is coming to relieve them next week

On the road again: National Park continues to clear roads. The main road to Coral Bay is still precarious – discussion about having a shuttle as a consideration since people have been encouraged not to traverse that road. The NY Troopers are on the road and will focus on Coral Bay. Sharon has requested that with increased traffic and car barges running that some sort of security check takes place.

All work no play? Then don’t miss  The Tap Room – St John Brewers happy hour tomorrow (Friday) until curfew kicks in!

Other Weekend Fun: ST. JOHN JOB FAIR! Employment Opportunity for St. John Residents: Love City Strong is  coordinating with FEMA, the Bloomberg Response Team and the Kenny Chesney Love For Love City Foundation and the DIRT Team to hire temporary full-time employment to help with the recovery of St. John.  There will be a Job Fair at Mongoose Junction THIS SATURDAY 9/30 from 11a-2p. Residents who are interested in applying must attend. More information on the details of hirable positions will be disbursed at the Job Fair. All ages 18+, multilingual persons, and persons from all backgrounds are welcome and necessary to complete this project! Applicant Requirements: {prospective employees must be able-bodied, capable of working outside for extended periods of time, and ready to make a 90-day commitment to their positions. TOGETHER, we can help in the recovery of the island. TOGETHER, we are Love City Strong

The American Bar Association and local lawyers will be meeting to see how to best serve the needs of residents. IN our meeting today, they said even those who do not officially qualify will be able to seek legal assistance. The business community is meeting with the Governor and IRB, licensing, etc. THey will discuss how they can help local businesses….with IRB and licensing et al. They will be talking to cruise lines to schedule trips back to the VI. The St John Community Foundation is working on the STJ Business Alliance that was formulated prior to Irma and will be setting up a similar meeting in the very near future to establish a support network. If you are a business owner, and have particular issues that you need help addressing, email [email protected].

7 thoughts on “Sept. 28 Update from Celia”

  1. We are with you here in the states. Our family went through Hurricane Matthew last year in St. Augustine, Fl and it will be hard at first, but you all will get through this and be stronger for it. We are looking forward to coming back to St. John in March. For those of us in the States, please consider donating to one of the charities listed. FEMA covers about 1/2 of what is needed to rebuild.

  2. Thank you ALL for what you are doing…..we have you in our prayers and thoughts…..This blog was so much better getting information out than ANYTHING else…..with airport opening we are headed down to work on our property and to help others….but especially the animals….You all understand it will take time but you are all…..ST JOHN STRONG! Gods speed to all of you..be safe

  3. These updates are wonderful. The community of St. John is really pulling together and showing the world how to get things done. There is so much co-operation and good will in the face of extreme adversity. It is inspiring. We read these updates every day in Chicago and are so happy to hear about each piece of news from our beautiful St. John.

  4. First, many many thanks for all the news you have provided! We love St John and are constantly looking for updates.

    We do have a question also– can you tell us anything about Nazareth Luthern Church in Cruz Bay? We are very concerned for the members and especially Pastor Carlyle Sampson. We were planning to come in October but decided to wait until Jan — we want to help and not become among those who need accommodations and/ or help ourselves. Thanks!

  5. God bless you all. I have so much love for St. John. I am a R.N. and am finishing up the paperwork to volunteer for the Red Cross and hope to be able to help in St. John. I am praying for you and sending loving energy. Peace.

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