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Recipients of disaster recovery construction programs are saddled with faulty construction that could put them in jeopardy of losing further assistance because the Department of Planning and Natural Resources lacks the staffing to perform proper oversight.
V.I. dignitaries helped to kick off a redevelopment that officials said would replace and “completely reinvent” the former Tutu High Rise and Donoe public housing complexes that were torn apart by hurricanes in 2017.
In the aftermath of hurricanes Irma and Maria, government officials realized legislative records and archival journals stored in the basement of a building in Cruz Bay had been nearly destroyed after the basement flooded.
A recently released 385-page federal report provides details about what has and hasn't been accomplished in the USVI's recovery since the hurricanes of 2017.
The V.I. government and V.I. Housing Authority received a $69 million obligation from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to fund the demolition and replacement of residential buildings at the Tutu Hi-Rise housing community, according to Government House.
Could the 2017 hurricanes have damaged community health even more than we thought? A recently published report suggests so. The peer-reviewed study goes so far as to pose the possibility that hundreds of Virgin Islands residents died as a result of the storms’ long-term effects on the territory’s health system.
The VI Wise Sustainable Roof Project is the brainchild of Kimberly Shumaker, who started it shortly after Hurricanes Irma and Maria devastated homes across the territory, leaving many without proper roofs.
The exodus from the Virgin Islands after Hurricanes Irma and Maria may have been more than a quarter of the population. We’ll never know, since there are no official numbers – the VI Bureau of Revenue does not have a count of taxpayers and the next census won’t be taken until 2020.
Author Diandra Jones’ personal account of surviving Irma, a Category 5 hurricane that swept through the Atlantic, is a testament to both the psychological cost of a natural disaster of such proportion and the immeasurable resiliency of Caribbean people.