They don’t call the Caribbean Hurricane Ally for nothin’. The islands south of Miami get beat up every fall. This week we are visiting one of them, St. Croix.
It got hit twice in 2017, by Hurricanes Irma and Maria.
Our friends who live there were without power for three months. Surrounded by the neighborhood’s generators, they said it was like living with angry lawnmowers 24/7.
And they didn’t even get the brunt of it. The devastation in the British Virgin Islands to the north was much worse. They got what we fear in South Florida, "The Big One". A friend who toured the BVIs four days ago told us, “It still looks like King Kong has trampled all over”. Little has changed since Maria blew through last August.
It was like that in Christiansted, on the east side of St. Croix, in 1989. That’s when Hurricane Hugo came to town and did not leave for twenty hours. 200+ mph winds ripped it apart and now, 28 years later, much of Hugo’s destruction remains.
The main part of town is as lovely and timeless as was when the young Alexander Hamilton live here.
But when you edge away a few blocks your see the beautiful, faded, busted buildings.
Nearly three decades have passed and they are still in ruins.
You witness the imperceptible dance of the rotting structures and the vines slowly replacing them.
The Big One hasn't come to Miami in 92 years. When it does we may have a few hurricane memorials ourselves.
No napping allowed
Masked fiberglass worker, Christiansted.