Well we can finally say Villa Capri lived through the biggest hurricane in the history of the Atlantic. WE however cannot say that for the three of us, as we were off island on our annual European vacation. The trip was ending on the 9th of September where we would fly to Miami, spend a few days to get our dog Dwight's passport stamped for his return to his favorite place. At the time we left, we had no clue of Irma or her intentions to devastate much of the lovely Caribbean.
Of course, flights were cancelled and we spent an extra week in Europe waiting out the storm. Today we just got to Miami to gather a ton of relief for victims hit way harder than us and hopefully we'll get it there, along with us, Friday.
Villa Capri was built in 2013 and for many years Turks has had a very strict planning code on many parts of the island, Chalk Sound being one of them. All construction needs to be built with solid concrete block. As you may know there are people on this island who simply can't afford that, and these people were hit the worst. There are many different organizations that are helping them get back on their feet.
- There are a lot of dogs on our beloved island. TCSPCA has their hands full.
- The British Red Cross has a TCI site and they're on the ground as we speak.
- A friend of ours Paul has started a gofundme page for the TCI where he's donating 100% to the people. He's totally legit!
That being said, Villa Capri took Irma like a champ. Some roof tiles bit it, the glass railings around the pool are shattered, our hurricane sliding doors and windows need replacing but none broke through! This is good news. A few ceramic lights outside have been smashed and gutters have been torn. There is small water damage in the house. All things considered pretty good. Oh and somehow our outdoor commercial grade refrigerator made its way out of its cubby hole in the outdoor kitchen and into the neighbor's yard. With the eye of a Cat 5 storm passing directly over our island, we feel very lucky.
What We're Doing
- Roof tiles have been replaced. These are special tiles that are very wind and storm resistant.
- Gutters are being reinstalled.
- Today we've got quotes in to replace the glass railing around the deck. We may replace them with a slick stainless steel cable system.
- We're getting quotes to repair or replace all of the affected windows and doors with new High-impact ones.
- A new outdoor fridge is on the way.
- Lighting has been ordered.
- The landscaping took a hit, but there are already green leaves appearing on the wind burnt plants.
- We're trying to get to the island to help others rebuild!
Lead time dependent and getting stuff onto a boat is our primary focus. That said all of this Irma-related damage is easily fixable.
When you come, you'll meet the best property managers anyone could have, Dinesh, her husband Julian and their assistant Faye, from Island Escapes. Their army of people run to houses when this happens, unplugging everything from the walls, moving all outdoor furniture to a secure area (and some of the 50+ houses they manage have some BIG furniture), removing outdoor TVs, BBQs, kayaks, boats, you name it.
They also come to clean up the mess, which they've been doing. Our roof tiles are already repaired (thanks to my husband John for getting palettes of these tiles 5 months ago!) and water has been cleaned up inside the house.
What The Island Is Doing
As you can imagine tourism is our #1 priority and people who live and work on this island rely on it. Construction and cleanup started to happen immediately. As fast as boats can get here from the Dominican Republic, Caymans and South Florida, they're bringing building materials and supplies. Roofing and materials have been #1.
The government has lifted all duties on items brought into the island. If we buy anything and have it shipped we pay a duty of 37.5%. So for the time being there is no duty. This is great news.
Power is up on most of the island (not yet Chalk Sound but soon!), TV and Internet are being restored as we speak.
Beaches (our largest resort) is set to open December 14, while others are shooting for October. A number of restaurants have opened which is a good sign. The high school and daycare centers have started to open.
Now we brace for Maria and hope that she doesn't pack the punch that Irma did. We'll start publishing to this blog as we know more. So far its maximum sustained wind is 90mph, by comparison Irma had double. We monitor this every day, we'll be posting frequently and emailing you to come check out any new news we have. As you can imagine we have pretty close friends who are updating us quite frequently so we'll do the same for you.
Please feel free to email us with any questions! firstname.lastname@example.org.
Janine, John & Dwight