Caribbean residents struggling with damage after Irma

Hurricane Irma cut a destructive path across Florida, but it's first victims were people in the Caribbean.

There's damage in the Virgin Islands and its shores are shattered by debris. But somehow hope remains intact as people struggle to find basic necessities, like food and water.

Residents are still trying to assess all the damage.
Christina Schmitt is a Chicago native and a St. Thomas resident. “I never want to go through something like this again. It was so scary,” she says.

People who are still trapped in St. Thomas say while the winds have stopped, the need for help is greater than ever.

“The airport is closed, so we’re just waiting,” Christina says.

The airport not just closed, but destroyed. One of the U.S Virgin Island’s most popular beaches has been ravaged by Irma and homes and restaurants destroyed.

Volunteers in Puerto Rico are now taking over relief efforts and filling boats and ships with supplies and trying to bring people to safety.

“I know that some boats are picking people up on island and bringing them to either Puerto Rico or St. Croix,” Christina says.

Puerto Rico says it is one of the only Caribbean islands with the infrastructure to help their neighbors so that’s what they’re doing. But people are still struggling without power also without food. Locals say nurses and doctors are scarce. Hospitals need bottled water, generators and they are running out of tetanus shots.

If you want to help we have more information on where you can donate through the links below.

British Virgin Island Recovery Fund

Banco Popular's relief fund