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Thread: What about some optimism and hope ?

  1. #1
    chris83 is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: May 2017 Posts: 721

    What about some optimism and hope ?

    This is the stunning photo of Flamand beach after Irma (sorry,i don't know who took it)
    Incredibly,the beach is still there...and yes,it's just lovely.
    I am nothing else than stunned by this miracle.And i see it as a symbol of renaissance.
    Eden Rock is also still proudly sitting on its beloved rock,despite rumors it was gone (not to mention Nikki Beach and others)
    The airport is opening today for rescue flights.help is on the way.We just need Jose to go quickly, before the full energy of the locals operates.
    There's lots and lots of heavy equipment on the island because of the building boom...And we will all be stunned,once again,how hard the portuguese builders can work.
    Thousands and thousands of people adore this island...And will show this love by visiting this winter.You can already read so many posts of wonderful people ,saying they will visit this winter.Thank you so much to all of them
    I bet new year eve will be the best ever,with hundreds of boats in front of Gustavia proudly coming to show solidarity with the locals and the island.
    Hope is just around the corner.Keep that in mind
    Name:  FLAMAND BEACH.png
Views: 5823
Size:  2.73 MB

  2. #2
    steelpe is offline
    SBH Member Joined: Jul 2010 Posts: 386

    Re: What about some optimism and hope ?

    We are still planning our visit in late January if we are allowed (I can't imagine why we would be). I believe the best way to support the island and their residents is to continue to visit. I just hope I don't get an skewed feeling when I'm there..... as taking a vacation to the island during the reconstruction seems a inappropriate.

  3. #3
    cec1 is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Jul 2008 Posts: 5,151

    Re: What about some optimism and hope ?

    Tourism is the basis of the SBH economy. Very few on the island, if any, would be uninterested in / detached from revitalization of business as soon as possible. People who live & work there are resilient . . . even indomitable. Though devastation has inflicted huge property, economic, & personal losses, I've seen on other occasions -- and been part of it -- the spirited support among people of SBH in pulling together to rebuild, restart, & continue "the fight," as they've done for 400 years.

  4. #4

    Re: What about some optimism and hope ?

    There are stages in grief. If I remember correctly, "DENIAL, ANGER, BARGAINING, DEPESSION, ACCEPTANCE." For those of us that love the island and more importantly, the people of that island who have enriched our lives for so many years, planning our vacations before letting them fully grieve seems to me, to be, as some have alluded to, slightly conflicted. Looking at The picture of Flamands, I see beauty, but my heart breaks for the people whose homes are now shells. Surely, talk of the Di caprios and Puff Daddy's yachting on the bones of the Island infrastructure does little for those who have lost so much! Unbridled optimism denies reality and skips many stages in a process.

    I guess, I plan to allow those most affected to process and report based on fact what their reality is before I impose my grief over their plight on their working through their grieving!

    first, I still hope to hear all we have met in our travels are safe

  5. #5

    Re: What about some optimism and hope ?

    Ref Jose .
    looks like it has turn more northward - 8 AM calls for Tropical storm conditions only.




    Quote Originally Posted by chris83 View Post
    This is the stunning photo of Flamand beach after Irma (sorry,i don't know who took it)
    Incredibly,the beach is still there...and yes,it's just lovely.
    I am nothing else than stunned by this miracle.And i see it as a symbol of renaissance.
    Eden Rock is also still proudly sitting on its beloved rock,despite rumors it was gone (not to mention Nikki Beach and others)
    The airport is opening today for rescue flights.help is on the way.We just need Jose to go quickly, before the full energy of the locals operates.
    There's lots and lots of heavy equipment on the island because of the building boom...And we will all be stunned,once again,how hard the portuguese builders can work.
    Thousands and thousands of people adore this island...And will show this love by visiting this winter.You can already read so many posts of wonderful people ,saying they will visit this winter.Thank you so much to all of them
    I bet new year eve will be the best ever,with hundreds of boats in front of Gustavia proudly coming to show solidarity with the locals and the island.
    Hope is just around the corner.Keep that in mind
    Name:  FLAMAND BEACH.png
Views: 5823
Size:  2.73 MB

  6. #6
    Aipotu is offline
    SBH Member Joined: Feb 2008 Connecticut Posts: 282

    Re: What about some optimism and hope ?

    We're scheduled to be there beginning October 27. While I understand the mixed feelings about vacationing during rebuilding, the only way the island comes back is if we are spending our dollars and euros there. That will be the oxygen of recovery. Not a direct parallel, of course, but consider New York city after 9/11 -- with in 10 days, the mayor was on television asking every one in the world to come see Broadway shows, shop on Fifth Avenue, eat at our restaurants, etc. The best way we can show our love to St. Barth's is being there once it achieves a reasonable state of stability, as full recovery will take years.

  7. #7
    belinda is offline
    SBH Member Joined: Jul 2017 U.K. & USA Posts: 61

    Re: What about some optimism and hope ?

    Help--
    I am stranded on the Island with my Husband and Daughter. We are trying to get to St. Kitts or St. Lucia. The home we were staying on was completely destroyed.
    Does anyone know how or where we can charter a boat/helicopter/seaplane to get to St. Kitts or St. Lucia?

    If there is anyone out there with a boat and willing to take us to St. Kitts, please respond and I promise we will make it worth your while.

    Thank you!

  8. #8

    Re: What about some optimism and hope ?

    Well said! Thanks for your post. Planning to visit the island is the best way to show support. St Barth is resilient but needs tourists to survive

  9. #9
    marybeth is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: May 2004 Pittsburgh, PA Posts: 3,270

    Re: What about some optimism and hope ?

    I honestly feel its too early to think about upcoming trips unless they are imminent. We are scheduled for November but will not consider cancelling..nor checking on the state of our villa...until a few more weeks pass.

    It seems like the island residents have enough on their hands at the present moment to deal with.

    Like Chris, I am optimistic that the island will recover from this tragedy.

  10. #10
    csordas95 is offline
    SBH Member Joined: Feb 2009 Wilton, CT Posts: 28

    Re: What about some optimism and hope ?

    We have been going to St Barths since 1988. We have been to other islands but none compared to St Barths. We have reservations for Feb.3 and we intend to keep them to support the island any way we can.

  11. #11
    evening is offline
    SBH Member Joined: Mar 2006 NYC Posts: 17

    Re: What about some optimism and hope ?

    I am optimistic! My parents lived through Luis and I know this is worse, but the paratroopers arrived and fixed the critical infrastructure of the island. I remember giving a donation for the rebuilding that went to planting new flowers! Not exactly what I imagined when I made a donation.

    One of our dentist attendees is already talking about staying in a tent if necessary for SBDA 2018 in January to support the island.

  12. #12
    joyce is offline
    SBH New Member Joined: Jul 2004 Posts: 8

    Re: What about some optimism and hope ?

    After confirming that the house I'd rented was habitable and accessible (albeit from only one direction and through some sand), I carried on with a planned trip to the Outer Banks one week after Hurricane Irene hit in 2011. The people who lived there were very grateful to have visitors - every time we walked into a restaurant, there was a celebration. When you depend on tourist dollars for your livelihood, it's important that they return as soon as they are not interfering with the recovery.

  13. #13
    Izzy is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Mar 2016 Posts: 432

    Re: What about some optimism and hope ?

    Looking forward, as we have for many years, to our March trip.

    We will put off experiencing the end of winter in the Northeast for some future year* - a tough sacrifice we are willing to make to support St Barth.

    * Hopefully, some very distant future year.

  14. #14
    stbartshopper is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Dec 2013 Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S.A. Posts: 7,950

    Re: What about some optimism and hope ?

    We too do not plan to change our February plans unless we are told to do so by the Villa owner due to damage. Yes St. Barth depends a lot on us -tourists' and we want the island to recover as quickly as possible and thrive. ST. BARTH STRONG!
    Belinda we are sorry to learn of your situation. Hopefully your request on this Forum will help to find someone to help you out.

  15. #15
    shasta2001 is offline
    SBH New Member Joined: Sep 2017 Posts: 1

    Re: What about some optimism and hope ?

    I too am planning to keep my reservation for next May. I do have concerns about the airport in St. Maarten though. Is there another route to take from the U.S.?

  16. #16
    chris83 is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: May 2017 Posts: 721

    Re: What about some optimism and hope ?

    Quote Originally Posted by shasta2001 View Post
    I too am planning to keep my reservation for next May. I do have concerns about the airport in St. Maarten though. Is there another route to take from the U.S.?
    SXM will be fixed by then...but you have solutions with San Juan and Tradewinds.Or with Antigua and commuter or tradewinds.Antigua is open and running as hurricane didn't impact them much

    I would like to thank all people who wrote they will come....I am sure locals will celebrate seeing you

  17. #17
    Bart -my real name- is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Nov 2009 Alexandria, VA Posts: 5,262

    Re: What about some optimism and hope ?

    Quote Originally Posted by chris83 View Post
    Name:  FLAMAND BEACH.png
Views: 5823
Size:  2.73 MB
    Heres a shot from August. I couldn't match up the buildings with the current picture, but if you zoom in on this one you can see how much vegetation is gone.

    Name:  IMG_0227.jpg
Views: 4286
Size:  239.0 KB

  18. #18

    Re: What about some optimism and hope ?

    After 23 years of visiting St Barth every January we have seen a lot of damage from hurricanes - this one might be the worst. We are still planning to be there in January 2018. We love St. Barth and the people.

  19. #19
    chris83 is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: May 2017 Posts: 721

    Re: What about some optimism and hope ?

    More good news to report...the main generators on the island are not damaged but shut off because of the broken power lines,triggering less demand.It's a safety mode to protect the equipment..restore the lines and island will have electricity again.Older generators were damaged but crews are working on them and power is slowly coming back.
    Same goes for water system...everything is clogged because of debris...but it will be ok once massive cleaning operation really begins.

    Island is going to make it ...and
    probably quicker than expected.

  20. #20

    Re: What about some optimism and hope ?

    Happier times. Hopefully, they'll be returning in the not too distant future!

    https://vimeo.com/198100191

  21. #21
    Zach & Renee is offline
    SBH Member Joined: Apr 2013 New Hampshire Posts: 21

    Re: What about some optimism and hope ?

    Thanks for sharing some positive news regarding the generators and water supply. We have a scheduled trip to St Barths in November and as long as we can get there and our villa is intact, we are planning on going. We are praying that Jose doesn't have any major impact on the wonderful people of this island or our friends in SXM.

  22. #22

    Re: What about some optimism and hope ?

    Quote Originally Posted by chris83 View Post
    More good news to report...the main generators on the island are not damaged but shut off because of the broken power lines,triggering less demand.It's a safety mode to protect the equipment..restore the lines and island will have electricity again.Older generators were damaged but crews are working on them and power is slowly coming back.
    Same goes for water system...everything is clogged because of debris...but it will be ok once massive cleaning operation really begins.

    Island is going to make it ...and
    probably quicker than expected.
    Sounds very positive.
    How do you actually know this? What is the source of this information?

  23. #23
    chris83 is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: May 2017 Posts: 721

    Re: What about some optimism and hope ?

    Quote Originally Posted by TWarburton View Post
    Sounds very positive.
    How do you actually know this? What is the source of this information?
    The engineer i work with on the island .
    they are all working with the collectivity to coordinate on the ground.
    also keep in mind the island is going through a building boom,meaning there's lots of heavy machinery on the ground.(some of it slightly damaged by debris and so on ...but mainly operational)
    All builders are working for the collectivity ("Requisition")
    and massive help is arriving tomorrow for cleaning and engineers for networks,EDF and water
    My opinion ? people are going to be very surprised

    We can already underline consequences.These new types of hurricanes request modern houses .All old houses,all the "case creoles" are gone.(vaporized should be the correct word)
    All electricity lines must be underground.And fiber optic networks are a necessity.
    I have been interested in hurricanes for years.Irma is very strong,but some were as strong in the past.But the intensification process/speed is mind blowing now.From TS to CAT 4 in 1-2 days.
    Even more impressive (in my opinion) is Jose,nearing cat 5 status despite tracking IRMA fresher waters.It seems heat content is higher than before.

  24. #24
    JB is offline
    Administrator Joined: Jan 2008 Tucson AZ Posts: 382

    Re: What about some optimism and hope ?

    Heres a side-by-side

    Name:  irma-before-after-1.jpg
Views: 3907
Size:  103.3 KB

  25. #25

    Re: What about some optimism and hope ?

    Quote Originally Posted by chris83 View Post
    The engineer i work with on the island .
    they are all working with the collectivity to coordinate on the ground.
    also keep in mind the island is going through a building boom,meaning there's lots of heavy machinery on the ground.(some of it slightly damaged by debris and so on ...but mainly operational)
    All builders are working for the collectivity ("Requisition")
    and massive help is arriving tomorrow for cleaning and engineers for networks,EDF and water
    My opinion ? people are going to be very surprised

    We can already underline consequences.These new types of hurricanes request modern houses .All old houses,all the "case creoles" are gone.(vaporized should be the correct word)
    All electricity lines must be underground.And fiber optic networks are a necessity.
    I have been interested in hurricanes for years.Irma is very strong,but some were as strong in the past.But the intensification process/speed is mind blowing now.From TS to CAT 4 in 1-2 days.
    Even more impressive (in my opinion) is Jose,nearing cat 5 status despite tracking IRMA fresher waters.It seems heat content is higher than before.
    Thanks for this insight.. Greatly appreciated. As for the hurricane comments - I refrain from judgment. But I too was really surprised not only by the Cat 4 to Cat 5 jump, but how rapidly the wind speed moved up to over 170- 220 MPH.. I thought that part was seemingly novel. I don't know enough about atmospheric conditions to comment intelligently other than to say that with the thinning of the atmosphere it stands to reason that storms could grow more quickly given the right conditions.

  26. #26
    chris83 is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: May 2017 Posts: 721

    Re: What about some optimism and hope ?

    Thanks for nice words.
    The new building code on the island is also punitive for car parks under the house (or underground ).Looking at all damaged cars on photos and videos,it is quite clear underground garages would create a perfect safe room for people and protect cars, preventing big debris on the roads after such hurricanes.
    Insurance companies should also push for such rules in my opinion.
    If these hurricanes are to become frequent,islands in the caribbean need to adapt quickly.

  27. #27
    steelpe is offline
    SBH Member Joined: Jul 2010 Posts: 386

    Re: What about some optimism and hope ?

    Chris, depending on how the underground parking is handled I can understand the current restrictions. Unless it is fully enclosed or fully exposed on all 4 sides you are exposing the underside of the house to the strong wind forces.

    One very important component of the new houses are the storm shutters which helps keep the wind out of the house. Once you have a breach of the envelope, say by broken windows, the wind pressures increase fast leading to roof failures.

  28. #28
    chris83 is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: May 2017 Posts: 721

    Re: What about some optimism and hope ?

    With the new building regulations,all parking will be outside...(because of the SHON/SHOB rule).The choice is to either have a terrasse or a garage,nowadays...guess what people choose )
    Looking at lots of photos,cars or scooters parking outside during hurricanes is not a great idea.Specially if strong hurricanes become more frequent.
    Storm shutters are of course crucial,as you mentioned..but preventing debris is also crucial to protect those shutters.
    Lots of cars (and probably shutters) have been damaged by stones coming from old stone walls,for example.Another example of "old" rules not working anymore.
    As i said,a lot can be learned by this event.
    To be honest,how not to be optimist when no one died on the island despite wind near 380 km/h ? The island now needs to find a way of dealing with the aftermath quicker.As mentioned,the new generators are intact...it shows we can improve.
    Give electricity and phone/internet access hours following the hurricane ...and stress and pain levels go down 50% at least.
    As i said,these are just first ideas i have.Fiber optic and electricity underground are the top priority.
    Mandatory solar kits would also be an good option.Check new small LED hanging lights.Makes quite a difference when no electricity.(Candles ? seriously ? in 2017 ? )

  29. #29
    Bart -my real name- is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Nov 2009 Alexandria, VA Posts: 5,262

    Re: What about some optimism and hope ?

    Quote Originally Posted by JB View Post
    Heres a side-by-side

    Name:  irma-before-after-1.jpg
Views: 3907
Size:  103.3 KB
    Thanks JB! And long live JG!!

  30. #30
    Bart -my real name- is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Nov 2009 Alexandria, VA Posts: 5,262

    Re: What about some optimism and hope ?

    PS - remember the good old days when the biggest concern was the amount of sea weed on the beach?!?

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