The following updates have been received following the passage of Hurricane Maria, which is now currently a Category 3 hurricane in the northern Caribbean.
A clearer picture is beginning to emerge of Hurricane Maria’s devastation of Dominica. On 20th September, the principal to Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit shared photographs – including the first of the prime minister since the storm (meaning the images are genuine and can be used). Images can be accessed via http://bit.ly/2fkfxg1.
Prime Minster Roosevelt Skerrit posted on his Facebook page that Canefield Airport is open and the largest aircraft that can land is the Twin Otter until 15 minutes after sunset.
The prime minister confirmed 15 dead so far.
The following Nevis hotels have provided updates:
· Montpelier Plantation & Beach received no damage from Hurricanes Irma and Maria and will reopen on 8 October.
· Nisbet Plantation Beach Club the staff is safe and will reopen its doors to guests on 4 October. Guests with reservations through 3 October are being contacted to reschedule visits. Vegetation impacted by wind and rain, no structural damage to the buildings but the beach bar did sustain damage.
Power is almost restored to the island fully, following some electrical poles being felled by the strong winds of Hurrican Maria. There has been some structural damage to buildings on the island also. The roads are being cleared of trees and debris that fell and blocked passage during the storm.
The Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport has been receiving military and rescue flights today. Very limited commercial flights will be arriving to the island on Friday, Sept. 22nd – specifically five American Airlines flights (from Miami and Philadelphia). Delta and JetBlue are considering resumption of limited service on Saturday.
U.S. Virgin Islands (St. Croix, St. John and St. Thomas)
Speaking to reporters Thursday evening, Governor Kenneth E. Mapp called for a united community effort to help rebuild the Territory following Wednesday morning’s arrival of Hurricane Maria, which significantly impacted St. Croix and worsened conditions in the hurricane-affected district of St. Thomas-St. John, which includes Water Island.
Based on the Governor’s aerial flyover of St. Croix earlier in the day, the western and southwestern portion of the island received the greatest damage from Maria’s forceful winds and water. Much of the island’s power distribution has been compromised.
The Governor reported that the Virgin Islands Port Authority believes the Ann E. Abramson Marine Facility pier in Frederiksted, St. Croix’s deep water, cruise ship facility, withstood the barrage of wind and storm surge. The condition of the island’s Henry E. Rohlsen Airport is still being assessed, but the runway has been cleared.
Governor Juan F. Luis Hospital and Medical Center in St. Croix has been breached, and efforts are underway to evacuate all patients from the facility to the U.S. mainland. Persons with special needs in shelters will be similarly evacuated. Approximately 600 individuals are currently being housed in shelters across the Territory.
The Department of Tourism continues to encourage travellers to postpone trips to the islands at this time as it further evaluates the damage caused by the hurricanes and coordinates evacuation efforts.
Communication throughout the Territory is limited, and the Department of Tourism is in the process of collecting information from tourism stakeholders.
To assist with the recovery and reconstruction of the U.S. Virgin Islands, please visitwww.usvirecovery.org.
Updates from hotels in the U.S. Virgin Islands are as follows:
· Divi Carina Bay Beach Resort & Casino guests and staff are safe, the power never went out at the resort, but the grounds did sustain some damage from Hurricane Maria’s heavy rain and wind. Currently assessing the situation to determine next steps in the recovery process.
· Caravelle Hotel & Casino received ground floor flooding and some damage, which is currently being assessed. The hotel is operational as no rooms were flooded. No online bookings are available at this time, so travelers must call the hotel. The hotel will be accommodating relief workers shortly and will provide an update when it will be accepting additional guests.
· Hotel on the Cay survived Hurricane Maria will be accommodating first responders and Air National Guard who are assisting the island’s recovery. Guests are asked to check back for reservations beyond the next 30 days.
· The Buccaneer has been spared major damage. Guests and staff are safe.
· Sand Castle On The Beach most of the structures suffered only minor damage and cleanup is underway. No accepting reservations until essential services are restored.
St. John (Reflects updates from Irma and Maria)
· Caneel Bay: Will be closed for the remainder of 2017 and further updates for 2018 will become available in due course.
· Estate Lindholm: Anticipates a 1 November reopening based on Hurricane Irma’s impact
· Westin St. John had minimal impact from Hurricane Maria. Still cleaning up from Hurricane Irma. As previously report, Marriott International has advised the resort is closed until further notice. The resort is waiving hotel cancellation and change fees for specific arrival dates. Customers should call 1-800-228-9290 (US) for more information about their reservations. Those in countries outside of the United States seeking information about their reservations should call the Marriott toll-free number in their country.
St. Thomas (Reflects updates from Irma and Maria)
· Point Pleasant Resort: Following the passage of Maria, the staff is safe but the resort sustained some damage. The resort and a large portion of the island are still without power and water. Suggest guests cancel all reservations due to arrive through 15 November.
· Sugar Bay Resort & Spa: As of 18 September, the resort is closed and an opening date has not been set.
· Windward Passage: As of 18 September, the resort is closed until further notice
· Margaritaville Vacation Club: Club Wyndham Reservations advises that all four St. Thomas resorts will be closed until 10 October, including Margaritaville Vacation Club, Bluebeard's Beach Club, WorldMark St. Thomas and Elysian Beach Resort.
· Ritz-Carlton, St. Thomas: Marriott International has advised the resort is closed until further notice. Those planning to visit the hotel should check the news for the most current information and amend their travel plans accordingly. The resort is waiving hotel cancellation and change fees for specific arrival dates. Customers should call 1-800-228-9290 (US) for more information about their reservations. Those in countries outside of the United States seeking information about their reservations should call the Marriott toll-free number in their country.
· Frenchman’s Reef & Morning Star Marriott Beach Resort, Marriott International has advised the resort is closed until further notice. Those planning to visit the hotel should check the news for the most current information. The resort is waiving hotel cancellation and change fees for specific arrival dates. Customers should call 1-800-228-9290 (US) for more information about their reservations. Those in countries outside of the United States seeking information about their reservations should call the Marriott toll-free number in their country.
· Bolongo Bay Beach Resort: Currently looking to reopen second or third week of December as the resort is housing people in need and a multitude of workers trying to help the island.
Note: The Caribbean Tourism Organisation (CTO) has activated its CTO Relief Fund (a 501 (c) 3) through GoFundMe to help families and countries rebuild after hurricanes, with monies raided being sent directly to CTO-member destinations affected by the catastrophic storm. For more information on CTO’s Relief Fund or to make a donation, visit www.gofundme.com/
The latest location, projected path of Hurricane Maria and warnings/watches can be viewed on the National Hurricane Center.