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Thread: Maurya has been in touch and this is what she had to say (via Facebook)

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    Administrator Islander's Avatar
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    Default Maurya has been in touch and this is what she had to say (via Facebook)

    Here I am – at least for the moment.
    My generator, along with everyone else who had paid less than $20,000 for their diesel generator, has been having multiple problems, including about a 2 week wait for propane to be delivered. It ran like a champ for the entire two weeks between Irma and Maria, but Maria just kicked the life out of it. If I had a nickel for every “friend” who has told me that I never should have purchased a propane powered generator, I would be a wealthy woman. Where were all of these helpful advisers several years ago when I was shelling out money for a new generator?

    Anyway, one of my kind sisters in the US is sending me a couple of very expensive parts for the generator, which should be arriving in another week or two, depending upon whether the post office has gotten itself up and running by that time. Meanwhile, I found a guy to hot wire the generator, putting in some temporary splices and bypasses. This requires me to jump start the generator from my truck battery; this method works occasionally, but not always.
    Again, there are more than one problem with the generator, which exceed my diagnostic capabilities. Propane is just about the most expensive way to produce electricity that I can think of, so I only can run the generator for a couple of hours a day.

    The internet provider, Broadband VI just began getting their towers working yesterday, and I get an internet signal erratically at best, which may or may not coincide with the times that I get the generator started. The governor has stated that the utility will not have electricity restored out to the neighborhoods until at least a year from now, so living with a couple of hours of generator power will be all I have for the foreseeable future.

    No electricity means no running water for washing, toilet flushing, etc. (electric water pump), no fridge, no email or internet regardless of the internet provider, no lights (flashlights work well with a good supply of batteries). There are various cell phone hot spots, which seem to change their location from day to day, but all of them are several miles from my home. Driving around in my truck is the only way to recharge the cell phone battery, so that it might work if and when I go past a hot spot.

    Our governor in all his wisdom has decided that the National Guard soldiers from the US who had brought us some MREs (food, or at least food-like substances) and bottled water no longer will be needed. The grocery stores now are beginning to open up again, but there is almost no food on the shelves, and we are unable to refrigerate food or to do much cooking or washing up. This poor decision seems to be another premature “mission accomplished” announcement. Of course, all the local farmers’ fruit and vegetable crops are gone. The local fishermen have been warned not to go out in the local waters, because of all the sewage overflow that has run off into the sea.

    Overall the destruction and devastation in Saint Croix are almost too extreme to imagine. Most houses lost at least part of their roof (although mine stayed on); federal assistance is to be anticipated from FEMA, but after almost three weeks, nothing has been done, and the contents of any damaged house will be a total loss, as we have had a lot of rain since the two hurricanes.

    Some of my neighbors are just about crazy with the destruction and the lack of help from outside. A desperate man with a hand gun showed up at the local watering hole a few days ago. Nobody got shot, and the police eventually showed up and arrested him. I was a coward and hid behind a post. More of these incidents surely will take place as people become more desperate.

    When natural disasters take place on the mainland, truckloads of skilled workers with tools and materials are on their way to the disaster site almost immediately. Our airports were closed to all but military flights for evacuating hospital patients and disabled people (our hospitals were totally destroyed) until this past Thursday, when the first regular flight took place. The Coast Guard has kept our main container port closed, as they have found several sunken containers right around the main pier, which will not allow any large ships to come in to dock. The roads are beginning to get cleared of the great tangle of power lines, phone lines, broken off poles, and broken off trees that have been blocking all large and small roads. This is being done almost entirely by private citizens who have chain saws, bobcats, and muscle. Public Works has done a bit of it on the main roads and downtown, but many people still basically are trapped in their neighborhoods.

    I spent several days working on cutting up the trees that were all over the road going by my house, with a small bow saw. Sure wish I still had my chain saw which I gave up long ago when I left Washington state. About 70 trees used to live in my yard; now all are down, either chopped off or uprooted by that giant with a giant machete who took a trip through the yard. This wreckage plus the electrical wires that were ripped off the poles and thrown hundreds of feet over to land on my deck and in my yard and in neighbors’ yards have led most people to see that this was one of the small tornadoes that exist inside a Category 5 hurricane.

    We are told that Irma (a category 5 as well) was the most intense hurricane in the Atlantic (since people have been measuring these things) at 186 mph. Maria was “only” about 175 mph, but caused so much more damage because it was a direct hit, and because it had two eyes at the time it went through Saint Croix. A large storm can have one eye wall collapse and another one form. This process just happened to be taking place as it was going through Saint Croix.

    During Irma, all the Saint Thomas radio stations were destroyed, including my favorite NPR station. Just recently it was repaired enough to go back on the air. This is the first news from the US and from the world that I have heard. Not a mention of the US Virgin Islands or of Saint Croix. Lots of talk about Puerto Rico, I suppose because PR is geographically and demographically much larger than we are. PR did not experience Irma, and Maria was “only” a category 4 hurricane when it came through PR. Saint Croix was hit by both hurricanes, two weeks apart. Whatever damage can be seen from photographs or videos in PR, the situation is about ten times worse here, but we have no means of communication to tell the world about our situation.

    If any friends in the US have access to your own Congress Critters, please let them know that we exist, that we are part of the US, that we have nothing and that we need help!



    ➤ Happiness is the frosting on the cake of contentment.

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    Default Re: Maurya has been in touch and this is what she had to say (via Facebook)

    Oh, Maurya, if you're able to read this, I am so so sorry for the devastating situation there.

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    Veteran Member Mr. Wizard's Avatar
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    Default Re: Maurya has been in touch and this is what she had to say (via Facebook)

    @Islander: Thanks for sharing. I am so disappointed to read about Maurya's hardships. However, she sounds amazingly upbeat and positive...all things considered. I know a TV producer at NBC news. I will contact her to see if there's anything she can do to shine more coverage on the U.S. Virgin Islands. I've seen lots of TV coverage for Puerto Rico, but very little about the Virgin Islands. I'm also contacting the National Red Cross to see if they can expand their efforts on the Islands. I see news coverage of their efforts in Puerto Rico, but nothing about St. Croix. I'm truly heartbroken for Maurya and her neighbors. I have a couple of other ideas about how I might help bring more attention to St. Croix.

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    Veteran Member Mr. Wizard's Avatar
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    Default Re: Maurya has been in touch and this is what she had to say (via Facebook)

    As I have contributed to the National Red Cross to assist in their efforts with Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, I was able to directly contact a high level official to ascertain their efforts in the Virgin Islands. Below is some good news shared with me:


    Red Cross workers have been working to help people on USVI since before the storm hit the island.
    On the U.S. Virgin Islands, 555 people stayed overnight in 7 shelters.
    More than 270 Red Cross trained disaster workers are supporting relief efforts in the U.S. Virgin Islands, and over 40 more are on the way.
    Along with our partners, the Red Cross has served more than 52,000 meals and snacks across the U.S. Virgin Islands.
    We’ve distributed more than 63,000 relief items across the U.S. Virgin Islands.
    Red Cross volunteers have provided more than 2,500 mental health and health services to support and care for those affected.

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    Default Re: Maurya has been in touch and this is what she had to say (via Facebook)

    Thank heavens Maurya is still with us, though the situation sounds really tough. And thank you Mr Wizard for finding out what is going on. I hope you can also get through to the media - the Virgin Islands have hardly been mentioned here.

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    Default Re: Maurya has been in touch and this is what she had to say (via Facebook)

    Mr. Wizard, you must have some powerful connections to be able to solicit that information. Bless your heart! Please continue pulling strings, especially (as Julieanne says) to push the media to shine some light on them. I have contacted both of my senators. I forget, I may have mentioned this elsewhere, but I also contacted our Maine NPR affiliate, MPBN, and got a prompt reply from one of the newscasters, Nora Flaherty. She explained that local affiliates get prepackaged content from NPR and directed me to contact their ombudsman there. And... at that point I lost access to my yahoo email. I may still be able to find it, because gmail has imported some of those messages...I'll search for it today.
    ➤ Happiness is the frosting on the cake of contentment.

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    Veteran Member Ora Moose's Avatar
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    Default Re: Maurya has been in touch and this is what she had to say (via Facebook)

    Quote Originally Posted by Islander View Post
    Mr. Wizard, you must have some powerful connections to be able to solicit that information. Bless your heart! Please continue pulling strings, especially (as Julieanne says) to push the media to shine some light on them..
    Yes, Mr Wizard I agree with Islander please do try to find additional info and keep us posted. I'd also like to hear more about living conditions and efforts to help in Puerto Rico, which was equally devastated and has a higher population count.

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    Veteran Member Mr. Wizard's Avatar
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    Default Re: Maurya has been in touch and this is what she had to say (via Facebook)

    @Islander: My sister, who use to work directly with Elizabeth Dole when she was President of the American Red Cross, is my connection. Many family members are huge supporters of Red Cross efforts.
    @Ora: Good News: A relative who works for United Parcel Service (UPS) told me that almost full-scale delivery service has been reestablished in Puerto Rico. And, anyone wishing to send packages to people in PR and/or VI may do so at "discounted" rates. UPS also provides "off-road" vehicles, making otherwise "hard-to-reach" areas accessible. I always think of UPS as a "trucking operation," but in fact, UPS has hundreds of cargo planes, which have been used to transport massive amounts of emergency supplies to PR and the VIs. Importantly, UPS has partnered with FEMA, the Salvation Army, and private donors to deliver emergency supplies to the VIs. We aren't hearing about all of this on the news, but I'm hopeful these unpublicized efforts will soon improve the lives of those in PR and the VIs.
    Last edited by Mr. Wizard; 10-11-17 at 05:09 PM.

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    Administrator Islander's Avatar
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    Default Re: Maurya has been in touch and this is what she had to say (via Facebook)

    My first thought is, with so much bad news over the airwaves, why can't we hear more good news like the examples you cite, Mr. Wiz? What UPS is doing makes my heart smile. I'm glad your family connections can bring us good news! And I was able to contact the ombudsman at NPR yesterday, and received confirmation that my message had been read. I'll try to make a point of listening to "All Things Considered" tonight to see whether my constructive criticism had any effect.
    ➤ Happiness is the frosting on the cake of contentment.

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