Sint Maarten/Saint Martin Spared as Hurricane Maria Hits Landfall on Puerto Rico (Photos/Video)

There are no winners when a hurricane goes by, unless, of course, it’s path takes it out to sea. For Sint Maarten and Saint Martin, there is a collective sigh of relief as the storm has mostly passed, only the residual tail is still impacting the island. It was a best case scenario for the battered island.

According to the Curaçao Chronicle, Sint Maarten has been spared by Maria. “We had some winds and rain too. But compared to Irma, this was a breeze”, Gordon Snow, editor of the newspaper The Daily Herald stated.

Of course, none of this changes the fact that there is still a massive cleanup and rebuild necessary to get the island to be anywhere near the point where commercial air service will resume, the lifeblood of this small Dutch/French island. And let’s not forget that hurricane season is still in full swing.

For those of you who’ve already donated to help the island, thank you. Unfortunately, this type of catastrophe is something that needs more. The damage on St. Maarten is in the billions of dollars. The cost for the entire storm will end up on the north side of $100 billion – that’s total damage caused by Irma.

And now, here we stand as Maria has torn through Dominica and Guadeloupe, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and is now pounding Puerto Rico. And let’s not forget about the 7.1 magnitude earthquake that, at last check, has killed over 200 people in Mexico.

My point is that even if you have donated, there is so much more needed. In order to recover from Hurricane Irma, not to mention Maria and the earthquake in Mexico, a program of regular giving – weekly, biweekly, or monthly – is what is needed. Please give regularly to help rebuild.

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Jon Ferlise

I fell in love with the island of Saint Martin the first time I visited to celebrate my 40th birthday in May of 2009. Since then, I've spent most birthdays there, and have visited countless other times getting to know this wonderful place and the friendly locals that make it so special. I adore the culture, the people, the community, and the beauty of this stunning island. SXM Strong is a website that I started to support humanitarian relief efforts following Hurricane Irma. There was no plan, it just evolved as I witnessed the devastation that Irma caused the island and the huge need to communicate and disseminate information about what had happened and how people could help support this island and its people.

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