The U.S. Virgin Islands are in critical need for assistance following the devastation caused by Hurricane Irma, which swept over the region earlier this month, killing more than 33 people and causing untold damage. The Category 5 storm was the strongest hurricane ever measured in the Atlantic Ocean, bringing 185 mph wings that caused significant devastation to the idyllic St. John and St. Thomas.
On Thursday, former New York City mayor Mike Bloomberg joined retired NBA star Tim Duncan and U.S.V.I. Governor Kenneth Mapp to assess the damage on the islands. The founder of Bloomberg LP also brought with him supplies and technical relief, including a car full of life-saving medicine from Johns Hopkins in New York.
“We had big hurricanes in Florida, Miami and Texas, but this is part of America and we wanted to make sure people didn’t forget that there was another part of this country that was struck by a deadly hurricane,” Bloomberg said during a press conference at the St. Thomas Jet Center. “The damage here is just unimaginable.”
Bloomberg also praised the spirit and dedication of the island residents, noting that “there is a lot of optimism coming from the people. Everyone I’ve talked to said that they’re staying, that they are going to rebuild and that the best days are yet to come.”
Donations for disaster relief on the islands can be made to the Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands (CFVI). 100 percent of all donations made to the CFVI’s Fund for the Virgin Islands, established to provide critical relief and recovery needs in the U.S. Virgin Islands, will go directly to the Fund’s mission.
You can learn more about the local relief efforts in the U.S. Virgin Islands and make a tax-deductible donation to the Foundation by visiting USVIRecovery.org.