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Thread: Coming back...

  1. #1
    belinda is offline
    SBH Member Joined: Jul 2017 U.K. & USA Posts: 112

    Coming back...

    Hello everyone, itís a while since I posted and most wonít even know me. Its Belinda, my husband, daughter and I were on the island when we had the lovely visitor Hurricane Irma. You all were such a fantastic help to myself and our family during what was a stressful time for everyone. Not to bore you all too much but we came back to the island in the February after Irma to help with the clean up and havenít been back since. Our daughter was and is still somewhat troubled by the storm memories. However, we are coming back in January 2020 (earliest time we can make it) and Iím wondering what the island is like now. We will be staying in St Jean again. Any in site would be wonderful. We absolutely canít wait to see the beautiful island again in all its glory. Once again, thank you for all your help, you are wonderful people.

  2. #2
    andynap is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Oct 2002 Philadelphia Posts: 43,928

    Re: Coming back...

    Welcome back. How could anyone forget your adventure? There are plenty of posts about the island now and in January 2020 it will be much better. St Jean-was hit pretty hard but Nikki is up, Lil Beach and Pearl Beach are full steam ahead. Where on St Jean are you thinking of staying?


  3. #3
    belinda is offline
    SBH Member Joined: Jul 2017 U.K. & USA Posts: 112

    Re: Coming back...

    Hi Andy, we are staying in the same villa up on the hill. Such lovely views from there. I would love to organize a night where we could all meet up and have a few drinks. Although Irma was as bad as it gets it was such a memorable time in our life, one I will never forget, lol.

  4. #4
    amyb is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Apr 2008 Glen Cove,L. I., NY Posts: 26,489

    Re: Coming back...

    So glad you will be coming back. January is more crowded. Expect changes-most are for the better. Construction boomed all over the island-both new and renovations. More poles underground.wise decision. Some roads wider. Most in better shape. Vegetation? Green if there has been rain. Tan or brown foliage if there has been a drought. Sargassom floating in the water and on the beaches...depends on so many ecological events that it is unpredictable. Stores and restos-many changes. Parking, a nightmare and involves timing and lady luck.

    Still our happy place,and always eager to get back.

    Safe travels.
    Remember Yesterday, Dream About Tomorrow, But Live Today.

  5. #5
    KevinS is offline
    Senior Insider Joined: Jul 2003 Boston Posts: 20,457

    Re: Coming back...

    Most of the obvious traces of Irma are long gone. By the time that you return the new Eden Rock will have reopened, new in that they are making major changes, not just storm repairs. The Guanahani will have reopened as well. Cheval Blanc is partially open, but will be closing in May for additional repairs and improvements. …meraude Plage will not reopen. The property has been leased by the owners of Le Barthelemy, and will become the site of a new hotel.

    All of the restaurants have reopened, with the exception of Ocorail, Gloriette, and Hideaway. It’s unlikely that Ocorail will get permits to reopen. There are rumors that the Gloriette property has been leased for a new restaurant. Hideaway has changed hands, and is expected to reopen “soon”, probably with a different concept.

    Vegetation has returned, but is stressed right now due to the current drought. There has been very little rain for the last two months.

    As Amy notes, many utility lines have been buried. However, there are still small areas of the island without landline service.

    Work has has been done to regrow vegetation on some of the beach dunes. Time will tell how successful that is.

    The Pond in St Jean has been improved. It has been cleaned up, a boardwalk has been built around it, an island has been constructed in the middle, and hundreds of mangrove seedlings have been planted. It now has an underground pipeline that allows the pond to flush to the bay, which should help the ongoing water quality.

    If you look closely, you can still find the occasional villa with no roof. Housing for workers, which was an issue long before Irma, is an even bigger issue now. Workers can’t compete with what the hotels are willing to pay in order to house their staff. I was talking with an acquaintance yesterday who has 3 months to find housing for his family or he will have to leave the island. He talks of returning to mainland France, or perhaps moving to Corsica.

    All in all, the island is recovering well, and certainly better than some other islands. Still, all is not perfect, and some issues remain.

  6. #6
    belinda is offline
    SBH Member Joined: Jul 2017 U.K. & USA Posts: 112

    Re: Coming back...

    Thank you all for the information we can’t wait to come back. I’m trying to convince my daughter to come with us but like I said she is still at times processing the nightmare of Irma. We will see... fingers crossed..


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