Governor Cuomo and a delegation of administration officials departed New York this morning for the U.S. Virgin Islands to survey the damage caused by Hurricane Irma.
The trip comes after Governor Mapp requested that Cuomo travel to the region to survey the damage. Cuomo has pledged to identify how New York can best provide additional assistance to the impacted area as they begin the recovery process.
Hurricane Irma hit the U.S. Virgin Islands on September 6th, leaving St. Thomas and St. John heavily damaged after powerful winds at speeds greater than 150 miles per hour. Much of St. Thomas and St. John has been devastated and still remains without power as residents struggle to recover from the storm. This situation is also poised threaten the Islands’ economically critical winter tourism season as many of the locations sustaining damage include hotels, airports and other key infrastructure.
“New Yorkers know full well the devastation that can come at the hands of Mother Nature and we stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters in the Virgin Islands as they begin to recover from this terrible ordeal,” Governor Cuomo said. “We have assembled our state’s top recovery experts to help assess the damage and are ready to provide any additional assistance we can to ensure this beautiful area comes roaring back stronger than ever.”
The New York delegation includes experts with a range of experience in incident management and disaster recovery at the local, state and federal levels dealing with crises such as Superstorm Sandy, Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee. During the assessment, the delegation will use this expertise to work with U.S. Virgin Island officials to determine the state of critical infrastructure, as well as identify how best to allocate resources.
News 8 spoke with a local woman who has a daughter currently in the Virgin Islands. She discusses how people can help with relief, here.