Sint Maarten was once again spared, this time it was category five Hurricane Maria that drifted just south of the island. There were tropical storm-force winds and rain but nothing close to the ravaging impact of Hurricane Irma.
Now that the storm has passed we can only hope and pray that Maria will turn out to be the final storm of the 2017 hurricane season. Time is needed for the rebuild to hit full gear, for supplies to arrive, and for the people of the island to feel a sense of ease without having to worry about ‘the next storm.’ Indeed, there is much work to do.
While there haven’t been any formal estimates released to date — Prime Minister Marlin mentioned last week that he should have a formal rebuild plan in place within 2-3 weeks — the obvious goal for the island will be to have at least partial ability to start hosting tourists as soon as the season starts in December. There’s certainly no way the entire island would be ready by then, but it’d be a huge boost if even a portion of the island is ready. We’ll have to see if that’s possible.
Here are a few more notable items for today, Thursday, September 21, 2017:
- The curfew has officially been lifted on the island as of 6 am AST this morning
- Banco Di Caribe is open today from 9 am to 1 pm. Bank Manager, Enrique Zuniga, has stated that the bank will be offering relief for qualified individuals on a case-by-case basis. It’s possible that you may be qualified for a 6-month grace period on repayment of certain loans. Visit the bank or call 1 721 581 9646 for more information.
- According to an article by The Daily Herald, Electricté de France (EDF) has stated that 40% of French Saint Martin now has electricity restored, mostly those with underground electric cables. They continuing to work on restoring power to those with above ground electric wires.
- St. Martin president, Daniel Gibbs, said that water and electricity should be restored to 100% within two months of Irma. One of the most important parts of that job is to ensure the integrity of the network of water pipes that send water to homes and businesses.