Post Irma / Pre Maria
Written September 2017. We survived! Friday 0630, about 48 hours after She started. We have no power so no internet and no news of the outside world. We have no idea how the rest of the islands got on or where she is up to now. We did hear that they were expecting land fall in the states at the weekend?? Today it is so hard to believe that this ever happened. Calm sea and no wind! She came and went! And it wasn’t nearly as bad as we were expecting!
There is not too much structural damage as far as we can see, mostly trees down and powerlines. The word on the street is that the hurricane hit Tortola and bounced north, so her path changed at the last minute before it got to us so that is why we were so well off. So we didn’t end up with the full force – thank goodness! As I said, it wasn’t as bad as we thought it would be, but it was still quite frightening at times.
Our local little sunset bar “Al’s” has been damaged. They lost all the roofing material and some Windows. They have a lot of water inside, a big clean up for them. Not sure when they will be open again. The supermarket was open yesterday! But the ferries are not running so they will run out of food pretty soon.
Kim called in yesterday to see if we were ok. He took us in his car to the ice plant and we bought a couple of bags of ice. We stocked up on food and meals before the hurricane but with no power the fridge is now warm. The freezer is a bit cooler and we have put one bag in each of the freezers, so at least it can act a bit like a fridge. We loaded the downstairs one with stuff we would need later and haven’t opened it so it will be staying a bit more ” frozen” but the one upstairs is all defrosted. So we are eating our way through the freezer. It is working really well, we will have enough food for the next 3/4 days providing we can keep it relatively cool. We have no idea how long the power will be off. Some say 3 weeks and some think it will be back on fairly quickly.
No electricity. It is always surprising how much we rely on power! We are quite lost without the internet. I hate not being able to talk to the girls on a regular basis and I know Mum has been very worried, we still have use of our cell phone, but there is only limited credit so we are being careful. The phone and laptops will run out of powers soon and then we won’t even be able to send a txt. Hopefully power will be restored sooner rather than later. And gee we miss the fans! It is so hot sleeping without the fan going. There doesn’t seem to be much wind at the moment either. It is so calm just now which is making sleeping almost impossible. We did hear, before the power went off, that there is another tropical storm coming right behind Irma (Jose). There is no sign of it just now though.
So we are fine! We survived! We will just carry on with our usual routine as much as we can. Hop on our bikes this morning and go walk the dogs, keep eating the freezer empty!
Cash only on the island at the moment, no power – no EFTPOS/Credit card machines, no ATM! So the bank gets robbed! We were lucky, we had cash – stashed in the freezer – its defrosted now though LOL!
Day 5. Still no power. Every day we have been hunting for ice and WiFi! Tsunami bar has a huge generator so here we sit! We are ok, getting quite frustrated with lack of information but that is really minimal to what other islands have had to deal with. Jose is tracking a long way from us now, so is not a threat!
Day 7 now with no power. We have managed perfectly with our food provisions and haven’t had to throw much out. We have come to the end of our fresh food and will be starting on the canned goods. The supermarket has been open right through so we can buy more. Having said that though it has been pretty slim pickings in there, no fresh milk or bread, eggs, fresh produce. We have had some great support from the friends and neighbours. We have been driven up to the ice plant a couple of times and our lovely neighbour Alberto, has dropped us in a bag of ice twice now,!! So we have been able to keep things cool enough not to spoil. Everyone is in the same boat. Some homes have generators but not many. Everyone is looking to keep food cool and are coming to the end of what they have in stock. The ferry service started again a couple of days ago so things are looking up, the supermarket is slowly being restocked.
We still don’t know the extent of the devastation on our neighbouring islands and USA main land. No power, no internet! Everyone is heading to the Tsunami Bar, the one spot to re charge their devices and get contact with the outside world. We saw a clip of when Irma hit Florida, it looked terrible! We are all so incredible thankful for what we DIDN’T get. We do have a battery powered radio, but it is ALL in Spanish- not much use to us who can only say hello and goodbye, and 2 beers please!
Petrol is like gold! People are starting to run out of fuel but they did send a couple of tankers on a special ferry 2 days ago. But it’s amazing, the 3 gas stations seem to take turns at running out of fuel and not being able to run their generators. The queues for petrol must be 40 – 50 cars long.
The rubbish is collecting on the streets, the garbage truck hasn’t been for 2 weeks now, but I think that is probably just a Vieques problem rather than hurricane fall out. But there seems to be so much of it around. I imagine there has been a lot of spoilt food around.
It is great to be able to be in contact again, even though it is in small snippets, compulsory trip to the pub each afternoon! Oh well……..
It is very dark! No lights around us. It gets dark about 7 / 7:30, we are powering through the candles but usually go to bed not long after dark. Oh boy we just can’t wait to get the fans going again, it has been very still for the last few days and the humidity is probably still 100%.
Electricity is restored 10 days post Irma. Just in time for the information to come through that another category 5 hurricane is heading our way – Maria. She will be here in 3 days. Easy! We have done this before, we know the drill, water, food, candles, grab bag etc etc. How bad can it be?? Look at Irma – We’ve got this!!! WRONG!
Part 3 – the most terrifying night on my life – next week!