Published: Tue, September 12, 2017
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

USA evacuates 500 Americans trapped on St. Martin by Hurricane Irma

USA evacuates 500 Americans trapped on St. Martin by Hurricane Irma

The U.S. State Department said Saturday that 1,200 Americans had been evacuated from the Caribbean island St. Martin/St. Maarten, but almost 5,000 Americans remain on the island days after Hurricane Irma's destructive hit.

In the U.S. Virgin Islands, where four people died, U.S. military and the Federal Emergency Management Agency were providing relief on the ground but utilities remain badly affected and the roof of the only hospital in St. Thomas was blown away. "Going to the airport without such plans could endanger the safety of USA citizens". Many people were looking for ways off the islands.

Many on St Martin had scrambled to evacuate before air links were closed as a precautionary measure ahead of the storm
Many on St Martin had scrambled to evacuate before air links were closed as a precautionary measure ahead of the storm

Jose was headed toward the northern Leeward Islands, which include Antigua and Barbuda, St. Martin and the US and British Virgin Islands, with sustained winds of 145 miles per hour - a Category 4 storm.

The U.S military began evacuating citizens to Puerto Rico on Friday, with flights expected to resume on Sunday, according to The Washington Post. Without running water they shared toilets, drank bottled water and ate food they had stocked up on before the storm.

Irma causes flight delays and airport closures
The status of flights from Orlando Sanford International Airport for Tuesday were unavailable late Monday afternoon. One-way fares in all cabins have been capped at $399 for flights to and from southern Florida through September 13.


The storm's wake has also left a breakdown of security on the island and some of the Americans felt they had been abandoned by hotel staff. Puckerin said a group of men armed with what she called "long swords" had stormed her hotel and beaten up a tourist.

"Until Hurricane Jose has safely passed, we strongly advise USA citizens to shelter in place at a secure location", the State Department spokesperson said in an email.

Irma's Second Florida Landfall Hits Marco Island With Heavy Winds, Surge
Most businesses were closed in Savannah, where a smattering of homes and storefronts had plywood covering their windows. Weather officials warn that Irma is expected to keep producing high winds and heavy rain, although it has weakened .


State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauret said Saturday that prior to Irma's landfall, the State Department assisted departure of US citizens through commercial and charter transportation, along with our own employees and family members.

South Florida starts to feel effects of Hurricane Irma
Irma also snapped miles upon miles of power lines and toppled three massive construction cranes over Miami and Fort Lauderdale. Mobile home residents and Florida evacuees camping in RVs were urged to head to one of seven storm shelters in the area.


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