Six months after hurricanes Irma and Maria devastated St. Thomas, St. John and St. Croix, recovery is well underway, led by the Virgin Islands Territorial Emergency Management Agency and local officials with support from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and its partner agencies.

Hurricane Irma struck Sept. 6 and Maria struck Sept. 19. After the second storm, more than 100,000 residents lost power. A joint effort by the Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority, FEMA, Haugland Energy and other power companies restored power to 90 percent of eligible customers within 100 days. This week, 99 percent have power.

 As of March 5, more than 873,000 cubic yards of storm debris has been collected by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and territorial agencies. The U.S. Coast Guard oversaw the pollution mitigation and removal of 479 displaced vessels.

 Federal agencies have provided more than $800 million to hurricane survivors, businesses and the territory in FEMA grants, disaster loans by the U.S. Small Business Administration and claims payments by the National Flood Insurance Program.

 The territory still faces many challenges. FEMA will stay on the job until the job is completed.

 By the Numbers (March 5, 2018)

  • FEMA Individuals and Households:$71.8 million
    • Housing Assistance: $50.1 million
    • Other Needs Assistance: $21.7 million
  • FEMA Public Assistance: $262 million
  • U.S. Small Business Administration: $462.6 million
  • National Flood Insurance Program: $7.1 million
  • Federal staff currently deployed: 491
  • Disaster Recovery Center visits: 65,372
  • Medical patients/caregivers evacuated (USVI/Puerto Rico): 781 cumulative, 229 currently
  • Emergency prescription assistance: $657,644
  • Power restoration to eligible customers: 99 percent
  • Debris removal: 873,022 cubic yards
  • Generators installed: 180 cumulative; 5 currently active
  • Disaster unemployment assistance: 1,208 applicants approved, $2.1 million
  • Disaster case management: $11.5 million
  • Crisis counseling: $2.5 million
  • Chemical containers removed: 3,668
  • Gallons of fuel/oil recovered: 12,449
  • Hazardous Waste Collected:
  • Small containers: 62,614
  • Containers (6-54 gal): 290
  • Drums: 192
  • Propane tanks: 1,525
  • Fire extinguishers: 784
  • Cylinders: 769
  • Batteries: 14,464
  • Fluorescent bulbs: 24,105
  • Pounds of refrigerant: 69
  • Electronic waste pallets (St.Thomas/St. John): 368
  • Electronic waste items (St. Croix): 42,881
  • White goods: 5,181
  • Sharps containers: 3,802
  • Bags of medical waste: 5,950

 

Emergency Prescription Assistance Program Extended Through March 14

The federal program that provides emergency prescription assistance for uninsured disaster survivors has been extended through March 14.

  • Virgin Islanders who have no prescription insurance coverage and lost medicine or medical supplies due to the hurricanes may be eligible for a free 30-day replacement of certain drugs and medical supplies. To be eligible, the survivor must have a current prescription.
  • Many pharmacies in the USVI are participating in the Emergency Prescription Assistance Program (EPAP). Check with your pharmacy to see if it is part of the program. If you have questions regarding access to care under EPAP call 855-793-7470. 

 

Free Rebuilding and Repair Advice for USVI

FEMA is offering free consultations and literature to help Virgin Islanders rebuild their homes stronger and safer. Advisors will be on hand at various locations to answer questions and offer home-improvement guidance. Most of the information and the free publications are tailored for do-it-yourself work and general contractors.

 

Over the next week advisors will be available at the following locations, dates and times:

 

Island

Location

Dates

Hours

St. Croix

K-Mart Frederiksted
Remainder Matriculat

March 8 – March 12

8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

St. Thomas

Food Center

6195 Estate Frydenhoj, Suite 26A

Red Hook 

 

March 7 – March 12

8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

 

Education Facilities

FEMA’s Schools Task Force is working with the USVI Department of Education (VIDE) to document damage and to finalize project work plans to restore or replace educational facilities damaged by the recent hurricanes.

  • On St. Croix: VIDE has identified 24 storm-damaged properties; 18 of those properties are schools and the other six are the curriculum center, headquarters, adult education center, procurement warehouse, youth rehabilitation center and school lunch warehouse.
  • On St. Thomas and St. John: VIDE has identified 23 storm-damaged properties; 20 are schools and the other three are the curriculum center, headquarters and school lunch warehouse.
  • FEMA continues to inspect facilities identified by VIDE and prepare project worksheets to capture all eligible costs for school repairs and restoration.

 

Emergency Home Repairs V.I. (FEMA’s STEP program)

This program is administered by the Virgin Islands Housing Finance Authority (VIHFA), funded by FEMA Public Assistance Sheltering and Temporary Essential Power (STEP) program. It is intended to protect public health and safety, to protect property and to enable hurricane-displaced residents to shelter at home. STEP is for disaster-damaged single-family, owner-occupied residential properties. Duplexes and townhomes are considered single-family residential property.

 

To sign up for the program call 844-813-9191, go online to www.ehrvi.com or visit one of the three Emergency Home Repairs V.I Walk-In Centers at these locations:

  • St. John: Cruz Bay at the U.S. Virgin Islands Legislature, St. John Annex, 1D
  • St. Croix: Rotary Club West, 40 KA-KD Estate LaGrange
  • St. Thomas: Tutu Park Mall, 4605 Tutu Park Mall, Suite 233

 

Medical Facilities

Restoring the capability of hospitals and medical clinics to provide essential services is a priority for FEMA and its partners.

  • FEMA has deployed a Hospital Assessment Task Force to conduct a detailed assessment of medical facilities, including the Juan Luis Hospital, the Schneider Hospital and the Myrah Keating Smith Community Health Center. This is an important step in determining the cost to repair or replace these facilities.
  • FEMA, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) are working to provide temporary medical facilities so that people don’t have to travel to the mainland for medical treatment.
  • On St. Croix, a temporary dialysis treatment center and a three-suite operating room will be installed in parking lots at Juan Luis Hospital. A Request for Proposal for a 12-treatment-station dialysis unit was issued Feb. 15. The operating room will be a three-unit, interconnected modular structure that will have pre-operative and post-operative patient areas. The three units are estimated to arrive in March; installation will take approximately seven days.
  • On St. Croix, the Army Corps estimates completion of a seven-building temporary medical and administrative facility for the Virgin Islands Department of Health clinic at the Charles Harwood Medical Complex site by late June.
  • On St. Thomas, the Army Corps estimates completion of a seven-building temporary Department of Health medical and administrative facility at the Schneider Hospital site by late June.
  • On St. John, the Army Corps estimates completion of the temporary patient care clinic at Myrah Keating Smith Community Health Center by late May.

 

SBA Loan Activity (March 4, 2018)

Total amount of disaster loans: $462.6 million

  • Homes: $367.6 million
  • Businesses: $95 million
  • Business Recovery Centers will close permanently at 5 p.m., Thursday, March 8. Until then, they are at these locations:
    • The Small Business Development Center, 8000 Nisky Center, Suite 720, Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas
    • The Small Business Development Center, 4100 Sion Farm Shopping Center, Suite 16, Christiansted, St. Croix
    • Hours for both centers: 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
  • The SBA customer service number is 800-659-2955.

 

Public Assistance (March 2, 2018)

  • $262 million obligated
  • 535 requests for Public Assistance
  • 89 projects obligated