By the Caribbean Journal staff
The island of St Croix in the US Virgin Islands was “severely impacted” by the passage of Hurricane Maria, according to a statement US Virgin Islands Tourism Commissioner Beverly Nicholson-Doty.
The eye of the Category 5 storm passed south of St Croix in the early hours of Wednesday morning, bringing heavy rainfall, flooding and hurricane-force winds.
“Based on our preliminary assessments and reports, St. Croix experienced serious hurricane winds and was significantly impacted, and heavy rainfall and flooding affected our Territory,” she said.
St Croix’s impact comes after Hurricane Irma caused widespread destruction on the other US Virgin Islands of St Thomas and St Croix at the beginning of the month.
St Thomas, St John and Water Island endured tropical storm conditions.
“The past 24 hours have been difficult and exhausting for the people of the U.S. Virgin Islands, especially our friends, family, neighbors and communities on St. Croix,” US Virgin Islands Governor Kenneth Mapp said in a statement issued Wednesday evening. “After touring damaged neighborhoods across St. Croix, my prayer is for renewed strength and resolve to rebuild all of our islands in the wake of these two terrible storms.”
Communications with St Croix remain limited, with government teams in the process of making a damage assessment.
“We are thankful for life today – let’s continue to support each other as we recover from these weather events,” Nicholson-Doty said.
One of the island’s top hotels, the Hotel Caravelle in Christiansted, said it had fared “relatively ok” through the storm and was now accommodating FEMA teams.
“[We] will keep everyone posted on when we will be accepting additional guests,” the hotel said in a statement. “Our thoughts and prayers are with all those in our community and all our island neighbors. Be safe dear friends.”