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Changed minds?

Light
January 05, 2018 01:20PM

Registered: 1 year ago
Posts: 15

Just curious about people that planned to move to the VI and if they changed their minds after Irma & Maria. It’s usually one of the first things that people bring up when you tell them you plan to move to the Caribbean are the storms.

Re: Changed minds?

speee1dy
January 05, 2018 06:15PM

Registered: 9 years ago
Posts: 8,289

honestly, a lot of mainlanders left. and that was usually one of the first questions asked when you would finally see a friend after the storms. most people call this home and would leave .

lots of people left due to the hospital being condemned. health reasons and the children

we have actually been wanting to leave since before the hurricane.

i have to say, i never want to go through another hurricane like that again

Re: Changed minds?

Light
January 05, 2018 06:22PM

Registered: 1 year ago
Posts: 15

Yes, I noticed a lot of people I follow on social media left and some are going back!

It’s very sad what happened.
Why do you want to leave?

Re: Changed minds?

singlefin
January 05, 2018 09:56PM

Registered: 4 years ago
Posts: 584

8 years ago we began coming to St. Croix. I had been searching for a place to retire towards the end of a 30 year gig with a company I didn't particularly enjoy working for, in a place that never truly felt like home.
The more we came, the more people we met. As mentioned, hurricane season was a topic I often brought up as we considered the posibilties. I was surprised to find so many people living here that were here for Hugo.
Hurricane Hugo, for St. Croix, was the yardstick to measure all other storms against prior to Irma/Maria. Building codes were weeker, infrastructure was more delicate, far less assistance came from the states, recovery was at least 3x longer (we got power back in 3 months, after Hugo my neighborhood got power back in 9 months).
With so much suffering, what kept so many of them here? They stuck it out. They reinvested and rebuilt, and are still all around us. A neighbor across the road, who rode out Hugo 28 years ago, said he thought Maria was worse than Hugo, and yet he and his wife are going nowhere. He's repaired the one storm shutter that blew away and is still trimming trees around his yard.
My wife and I rode out Irma and Maria inside our home, and we were blessed the morning after with a solid roof and no major structural damage to our little home (which I now refer to as the bunker). We ran a generator a few hours a day, had a cistern full of water, found fuel, food, and ice like most others did. Once a routine was established, it wasn't so bad.
We had set up a flight to Arizona for the holidays to visit family before the hurricanes, and by late December we felt things were secure enough to leave for our planned two weeks away (electricity was restored 3 days before we left).
Our visit was nice. Electricity on demand, hot showers, smooth roads, and the limitless consumer options seemed to blow our minds.
Our flight home from Pheonix was delayed and we missed our connection in Miami. We were originally scheduled to arrive in STX around 9:30pm. Instead, our airline flew us to Puerto Rico where we had to wait for a Seabourne flight at 7:45am the next morning.
Sounds pretty crappy, and it definitely wasn't a fun evening, however as we began our decent into St. Croix, with the early morning sunlight passing between clouds it illuminated our beutiful green island surrounded by perfect shades of blue water. I looked at my wife with a smile. She smiled back.
I feel like we're those older residents now, hurricane survivors, rebuilders, here for the long haul. Still can't say why exactly, and this island definatly isn't for everyone, but if this little island gets under your skin, apparently you just can't walk away from it.
;-)

Re: Changed minds?

Scubadoo
January 05, 2018 10:53PM

Registered: 3 years ago
Posts: 1,794

Nicely put. We feel the same way each time the plane lands.

Re: Changed minds?

Light
January 05, 2018 11:08PM

Registered: 1 year ago
Posts: 15

Ahhh thank you for that. That’s why I still feel my need to move there.

Re: Changed minds?

Treeman
January 06, 2018 08:36AM

Registered: 2 years ago
Posts: 96

We decided 3 years ago that STX was right for us. last June we were looking at houses around the island. due to other commitments we knew that we wouldn't be able to transplant until spring of '19.

we will be back this June to look at houses once again.
we have begun a lot of the steps for moving and with ~1 year to go I am starting to mentally prepare.

The hurricanes don't bother me too much, I have survived many extreme conditions over the years, making me a little wiser each time. Semper Paratus

Re: Changed minds?

Ca. Dreamers
January 06, 2018 08:40AM

Registered: 8 years ago
Posts: 359

We aint goin' nowhere!

We invested the last five years here and prepared well for the storms.

No damage to house, landscape is back already.

Power back X-mas eve day.

Have had DISH since the day of Maria and internet since 10/17.

Cost a small fortune to run our 17 kw propane generator but it kept us sane.

THIS IS OUR HOME!!!!!!!!!!

CD

Re: Changed minds?

NugBlazer
January 06, 2018 03:12PM

Registered: 11 years ago
Posts: 305

Yeah, hurricanes definitely make some people leave. However, in the long run, it's the problems that are always present, most notably crime, that makes the majority of people leave. Many people say they'll "never leave" but once they've had a gun pointed at them, they change their tune.

Re: Changed minds?

Treeman
January 06, 2018 04:31PM

Registered: 2 years ago
Posts: 96

Quote
NugBlazer
Yeah, hurricanes definitely make some people leave. However, in the long run, it's the problems that are always present, most notably crime, that makes the majority of people leave. Many people say they'll "never leave" but once they've had a gun pointed at them, they change their tune.

Is that because they would never expect something like that to happen in such a place?

Re: Changed minds?

singlefin
January 06, 2018 04:39PM

Registered: 4 years ago
Posts: 584

I worked in a lot of sketchy places throughout the 5 boroughs, maybe that's why the crime that does happen here really dosent bother me. Like anywhere in the world, you can reduce your chances of having an issue if you just use common sense.
The low population makes the most difference. I used to work with a guy who had a theory, he called it the "wacko ratio".
Simply put, less people, less wackos.

Re: Changed minds?

Treeman
January 06, 2018 05:26PM

Registered: 2 years ago
Posts: 96

Quote
singlefin
I worked in a lot of sketchy places throughout the 5 boroughs, maybe that's why the crime that does happen here really dosent bother me. Like anywhere in the world, you can reduce your chances of having an issue if you just use common sense.
The low population makes the most difference. I used to work with a guy who had a theory, he called it the "wacko ratio".
Simply put, less people, less wackos.

Ahh but there also is my "Dahmer Theory". You see or hear about the craziest thing evah and then I say "sorry, there's still Dahmer".

Re: Changed minds?

T8kingtheplunge
January 07, 2018 12:23PM

Registered: 11 months ago
Posts: 10

We had our house listed for sale for just a few weeks before the hurricanes. Only FSBO on zillow to see if we could sell it on our own. Changed it to the "make me move" status which is barely listed at all, after Maria. Early spring we will try paying a fee to get on the GSMLS to have more exposure. We plan on storing our stuff and renting on STX for a year...or 2...or more? We'll see how it goes!! Our STX adventure is just postponed a bit. We'll get there eventually.....see that! I'm preparing for island time in 9 degree weather!

Re: Changed minds?

Light
January 07, 2018 01:27PM

Registered: 1 year ago
Posts: 15

Good luck! We hope to have ours listed for sale by the spring!
It was -1 degrees when I woke up this morning. I can’t stand it.

Re: Changed minds?

Spartygrad95
January 07, 2018 03:28PM

Registered: 3 years ago
Posts: 1,878

We rode out storms and pledged to stay but we both lost our jobs and cannot afford to stay sadly. I would have loved to run for Senate this upcoming year but everything in life happens for a reason and we move at end of month to a new job in Panama

Re: Changed minds?

JohnnyU
January 07, 2018 04:03PM

Registered: 4 years ago
Posts: 450

Congrats on the new gig and sorry things didn’t work out in STT

Re: Changed minds?

speee1dy
January 07, 2018 10:52PM

Registered: 9 years ago
Posts: 8,289

Congratulations on the new adventure

Re: Changed minds?

Cynthiad
January 08, 2018 09:18AM

Registered: 6 weeks ago
Posts: 1

We decided on our last visit in March to move down. The huricannes did not change that. If anything it made our desire to be a part of the community stronger. Yesterday we bought our one way ticket to our dream. April can't get here soon enough!

Re: Changed minds?

LiquidFluoride
January 08, 2018 09:35AM

Registered: 5 years ago
Posts: 1,938

Lost power the 6th of sept, still don't have it...

But I won't move because of that...


Quote

Once a routine was established, it wasn't so bad.

This is what's hard to explain to outsiders... yeah it's not good, but it's not the end of the world either, I'd say the worst part has been no internet at my house since the 6th of sept, haha 1st world problems!


I still get gas for my generator every night; doesn't even really bother me anymore.

Re: Changed minds?

Scubadoo
January 08, 2018 01:00PM

Registered: 3 years ago
Posts: 1,794

LF maybe WAPA skipped past the houses with the solar panelsbig grin

Re: Changed minds?

speee1dy
January 08, 2018 05:27PM

Registered: 9 years ago
Posts: 8,289

but i hear wapa was like 90% restored

Re: Changed minds?

plindholdt
January 08, 2018 05:49PM

Registered: 6 weeks ago
Posts: 13

My husband and I are planning to move within 1 year. The hurricanes did not change our minds. We belong to many sites which show the restorations going on the people there are so inspiring ! Such love and dedication to the restoration of their home. It makes me want to be a part of the community that much more.
I am 51 and my husband is 50. We are both in good health. The one worry we have come across is the no individual health insurance being available there. So how do people that do not work for a company that provides health insurance afford medical care?

Thanks
Pam

Re: Changed minds?

singlefin
January 08, 2018 06:14PM

Registered: 4 years ago
Posts: 584

I don't know where WAPA is at, percentage of island electrified, however im glad im in a somewhat established community not to far off the main road (East End Road in my case). A claim of 90% restored by Christmas was the government's goal, but since the holidays, no one seems to be giving out numbers anymore.
They definitely prioritized who got electric first depending on the number of homes in any given area. They worked from the main towns (Christainsted / Fredricksted) outward.
I didn't consider things like power restoration after a hurricane when I purchased my property years ago, just dumb luck on that one. I looked at quite a few areas back in the rain forest or down some long dirt roads. In the end we went more with where the wife wanted to live, why are they usually always right???
Seriously though, for anyone currently looking, its something to consider.

Re: Changed minds?

janeinstx
January 08, 2018 09:57PM

Registered: 5 years ago
Posts: 618

Quote
plindholdt
So how do people that do not work for a company that provides health insurance afford medical care?

Thanks
Pam

We go into debt

Re: Changed minds?

Scubadoo
January 08, 2018 10:27PM

Registered: 3 years ago
Posts: 1,794

Quote
singlefin
I don't know where WAPA is at, percentage of island electrified, however im glad im in a somewhat established community not to far off the main road (East End Road in my case). A claim of 90% restored by Christmas was the government's goal, but since the holidays, no one seems to be giving out numbers anymore.
They definitely prioritized who got electric first depending on the number of homes in any given area. They worked from the main towns (Christainsted / Fredricksted) outward.
I didn't consider things like power restoration after a hurricane when I purchased my property years ago, just dumb luck on that one. I looked at quite a few areas back in the rain forest or down some long dirt roads. In the end we went more with where the wife wanted to live, why are they usually always right???
Seriously though, for anyone currently looking, its something to consider.

Latest numbers posted here

vimovingcenter.com

If I were scheduling the restoration I'd be prioritizing to get the most people restored with the least effort first after the critical infrastructure (medical facilities, grocery stores, police stations, schools, airport, etc) Generally that would probably be apartment buildings, public housing, condos, high density neighborhoods, etc.

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