Hello friends and clients and loyal followers. 🙂
It’s been a hell of a 2 mos here in Vieques!!!. Irma was not that bad, as she passed us on the North; BUT Maria wrecked us pretty bad as she took direct aim and all of Vieques was hit with the N-E-S side of the maximum winds which were clocked up to 265 mph gusts and 214 sustained… She was stronger than a Cat 5…and i think you will see our history making landfall here, create a next level on that scale used.
Two full months have passed and we are just now being able to get around to restoring business and getting back to work. Everyone here was a direct victim of this storm, and there has been very little assistance…sickening really, the lack of support and relief from the most wealthy and powerful country on earth towards US citizens…both in PR and in the USVI… We have been clearing debris for weeks on end as we have had little to no cell service or internet or water…or electricity. Cell service still really bad, in and out..the towers were destroyed. I got a commercial solar/generator WiFi connection(expensive)just this past week so we CAN return to work, BUT we are working out of my home office since i have a generator. that we run a few hours a day.
So much i could say, and many stories to be told…but suffice it to say that the night the storm hit was likely one of the scariest times in most of our lives…and the aftermath was just devastating to see with our eyes and hearts . Most here have experienced PTSD to some degree. We were all in total shock and cut off from the world for almost a week.
THIS island though…and people …of this island…and beautiful and strong and resilient and can find the best in the worst situations. This mentality is historical, and i am grateful for it as we have been lead and lead each other one day at a time. It took weeks to just get dug out…and just now, we can think about the future…and there are no answers for how well or how quickly we will recover to a point of being able to again welcome visitors. We continue to try to be positive and hopeful. We continue to work on getting to where we need to go…but it’s a long road ahead…and as always, Vieques takes care of herself and her own. We have not seen one…not ONE outside electric crew to help restore the lines. YES- we want to go all alternative power, but that will take years…and we need some semblance of a grid to live until that change over can happen. We want Tesla to use us as an example of a fully independent green power grid…it is our dream. Anyone, with any connections to help us make this a reality, please please please…privately, or politically or economically…we ask for help.
ok- today. some cell service, still spotty. some of us have some internet. water has been restored but we do not know if it’s potable or constant. electric? when?…who knows. The Vieques generator is supposedly up and running, but the power lines and poles are a complete mess…broken and down thru out. Same is true on the Big Isle , and this is a huge problem…them 1st of course, to run to us…how? when? If lines get restored, the generator can supply juice to the North side and Isabel? I don’t know how far that power can extend. Culebra has a generator…up and running..since the storm./..what a concept!…maintenance.
ok- on to business- we are hopeful that visitors might be able to return starting after the 1st of the year. Jen has been corresponding with people currently booked. we are relaxing cancellations and fees and we ask 2 things. Be sure you can be ok without electric IF it hasn’t been restored and your house rental does not have a generator…what’s it called? Glamping?…gorgeous house and views and living out of a cooler..hmm. personal choice. AND, i am sure we can extend credit. If we get electric back, we are open for biz. The beaches took big hits and will not look great for a couple years…but the sand is white and the water is turquoise. I have not been in yet…yes, there were some sewage issues…all fixed is the word i have and weeks ago… I am going out to Punta Arenas this weekend to see the reef for myself…will let ya’ll know, but i am guessing it’ll take a while, The reserve is still not open…we need them to get it together…:-)…and the municipality is furiously at work to restore Sun Bay to some semblance of pretty… SO- talk to Jen. Please come! WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT!!! IF you have to cancel, we will only charge the administrative fee(and i would waive that but we are getting hit hard financially of course. If you want to reschedule, we will apply the entire rental amount to a future date and we certainly prefer that option.
Real Estate. I had an appraiser here 2 days ago to re-certify a property we should close on by Dec 15th. Passed with glowing colors due to the monumental efforts of seller. We thank the buyer for not trying to get a “better deal” due to Maria. Instead?…they feel awesome to be buying a water front home that totally stood up thru a Cat 5(6!) Hurricane. Smart Buyers! We also are experiencing a well deserved reduction on the sales price of another house, because it did sustain damage. What we want to discourage is any vulturous activity while we are already down. WE FEEL PRICES ARE GOING TO HOLD WELL!!/ ALthough, of course there will be some discounts on some houses where people just gotta go…and on those damaged that sellers are not repairing due to lack of insurance or whatever. So please, be kind and conscientious with your inquiries… It hurts to have a caller say ” ill give 25 cents on a dollar for any property there”…really?… No- This is a fabulous community…and we WILL continue to take care of each other in extraordinary ways….always…and thru anything.
Lastly- thanks soooooooooooo much for supporting Vieques Love, and the various Go Fund Me pages, and Vieques Humane Society and The Vieques Historical Trust… the last two mentioned here are our recommended charity donation suggestions… BUT- besides the $…..the packages of supplies that have been delivered has helped more than we can say…. Rainbow just recieved 5 HUGE tarps yesterday from Amazon…and i have NO IDEA who sent(doesnt say) but i will be driving to Monte Carmelo and Santa Maria Playa this weekend to hand out. SO SO sooooo many wooden homes destroyed and damaged…in Pilon and La Hueca as well. PLEASE KEEP IT COMING! Bug your legislators to keep supporting us financially. Bug your local electric company to send trucks and linesmen on a barge. We will house them!
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts….for loving us….and la Isla Nena, Vieques!
We will come back from this….stronger and even more beautiful!
SE LEVANTAR !