~ Part 1~: Remembering the devastation of September 6, 2017

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5 years after Hurricane Irma the old Government building is in the same situation.

 

Gromyko Wilson an aspiring political candidate for the upcoming (2023) elections

PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten — The early morning of September 6, 2017, is a morning that none of us residing on St. Maarten/St. Martin and Anguilla will ever forget. That morning, the strongest Hurricane ever recorded on the Saffir-Simpson scale struck our island. Thousands of homes were damaged. Many persons lost their homes completely. Our economy came to a complete standstill. Our lives changed forever.

The Category 5 hurricane slammed into our little island, and wreaked havoc. No one was untouched. Flooding, the likes of which we had never seen before, was recorded on the French Side, while Dutch Side residents battled 250+mph winds in a struggle to preserve their homes and belongings. That is a battle that was lost, along with a number of lives.

Shellshocked persons emerged from their hiding places, and surveyed the damage, rolled up their sleeves and went to work.

Five years after hurricane Irma you can still see a light pool still on the ground on Fort William road. none of these lights was replace or removed.

“We are now 5 years removed from that catastrophic event. Yet, 5 years, 60 months, almost 1,826 days later, persons are still struggling with the aftermath of Irma. To date, many persons are still jobless as a number of businesses have not been able to reopen. To date, only a few hundred homes have been fixed. To date, we have persons still homeless. Some moved back in with families, others have resorted to squatting. To date, we have persons sleeping in their cars, persons living in abandoned buildings in town and alleys. To date, we have so many persons suffering from mental health. To date, we have schools without ceiling fans, schools without functioning windows or fixed roofs, students sharing the space at other schools as their school cannot function as school anymore,” Gromyko Wilson stated.

“5 years, 60 months, almost 1,826 days and 550,000,000 Euros later.”

 

Fort William a broken lamp post since 5 years ago after hurricane Irma

“Yet they put on their expensive suits and dresses and tell you how we have bounced back from Irma. How we resilient we are. How the economy will look in 2023. Ask yourself, 5 years, 60 months, almost 1,826 days and 550,000,000 Euros later, doesn’t St. Maarten deserve better? Doesn’t St. Maarten deserve politicians who will act in times of crises? Ask them how many homes they have rebuilt since Irma. They will say thousands. The real numbers barely pass a hundred. They will tell you they paid for training for persons in the tourism sector after Irma. Truth is they paid for the employees of a selective group of businesses. Not the mom-and-pop stores nor the local guest houses,” observed Wilson.

These are simply a few of the challenges our people are facing 5 years after Irma. Stay tuned for Part 2.

~ Part 2~: Yet, 5 years, 60 months, later, persons are still struggling with the aftermath of Irma

 

5 years after Hurricane Irma and South Reward does not have a water tank to supply the surrounding neighborhood.

 

Things we should not forget !!!!