In the wake of Hurricane Irma, the U.S. Virgin Islands have only scratched the surface on the cleanup efforts.
Lindy Quaglia, originally of Manchester, has lived in St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands for roughly five years. She reached out to FOX61 with several images and videos of the aftermath of Irma.
Quaglia described the damage as “trees, power lines down, and transformers blown everywhere.”
In a Facebook update she posted from Saturday, September 9th, she wrote, “The island is devastated. Driving on the roads reminds me a video game. There are hundreds of down power lines and even more trees. We are all trying to make it so we can get by but many times you have to turn around and start over. Roads are unrecognizable. After living here for five years I get confused as to where I am.”
She went on to write, “Hull bay is the area I live in. The actually bay itself is gone and many people lost their homes and some lost their lives. It's still too early to tell how many people actually passed. While driving around the island I was in tears. Houses are either completely gone. Roofs are gone and blocking roads. People are sitting outside because their inside of their houses are gone.”
Quaglia finished Saturday’s Facebook post by stating, “I'm physically and emotionally drained and it's only day 3.”
Monday, she was able to get enough cell service to post another update describing the challenges she and others on the island are having getting ice, water, and gas. She explained there is a curfew on the island which means residents are only able to go out to get essentials between noon and 6 P.M. If residents are out during the other hours of the day they are asked to turn back around by the National Guard.
She told FOX61 Monday with the limited hours and lack of gas, lines at gas stations are stretching over a mile long. She said store shelves are emptying out quickly as well.
Quaglia thanked her Facebook friends for their support and explained some loved ones stateside are trying to put together care packages of some essential items include solar powered phone chargers, flashlights, batteries, candles, canned foods, toilet paper, water purifiers, soap, gloves for clearing trees, and so on.
“Thank you all for your support and positive thoughts. Keep them coming because this is rough!! I just hope that with Florida getting hit as well that they all stay safe. My other concern is that the USVI isn't forgotten about. We need your help now more than ever. Don't let them forget us!!!!” Quaglia wrote.
She said she and her friends there are looking after each other and taking it one day at a time.