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Reality Check for Anyone Thinking of Moving to VI this Year

Alana33
March 02, 2018 02:32PM

Registered: 6 years ago
Posts: 12,113

I posted this on another thread but thought it might be good information for those considering a move any time soon.

To all those moving here or considering it:

Getting things done before our 2 Cat 5 Hurricanes a week apart in September, took awhile.
It now takes much longer and you may have to go a few different places.
If you're lucky, you'll find what you need. But...you might not.

Prices have definitely gone up whether at grocery stores or other places!

Internet services are still not available in many areas.

ATT cell phone internet service sorta comes and goes, depending on location and time of day.
And they're the best we've got, right now.

VIYA, the local phone company is not providing phone nor internet to new customers as yet. Many of their old customers have yet to have service restored.

Many businesses are still without internet, credit card and phone capability.

WAPA our electricity provider, is having difficulty generating reliable power so outages are numerous.

There are still dangling power lines and lots of overflowing garbage bins and roadside debris.

There are mega potholes and few streetlights. Some roads are downright dangerous.

Individual healthcare insurance is not available and our hospitals are a mess.

If you're not an extremely calm and patient person, our islands, at this point in time, may not be the right move.

BTW - Hurricane Seaon begins again in June. 3 months from now.

This is a Reality Check.

Re: Reality Check for Anyone Thinking of Moving to VI this Year

Gator's Mom
March 02, 2018 04:08PM

Registered: 5 years ago
Posts: 948

Have you actually visited to check out how things are on STJ and STX as well as STT? Your experience may not be universal.

I think recovery is progressing differently on each island and differently from neighborhood to neighborhood. My neighborhood on STX has cell service, BBVI, pretty reliable power and roadside debris is gone.

WAPA is NOT having generation issues with the power plants - rather its still tweaking its transmission and distribution service causing periodic outages. There will be more outages when the pole replacement/improvement project gets underway for sure.

No matter what, building supplies are in great demand. Everyone on STX who can afford to is busy working on home projects in anticipation of Hurricane Season redux.

Hurricanes blow some people away from and others toward the VI. Just part of the nature of the place.

Quote
Alana33
I posted this on another thread but thought it might be good information for those considering a move any time soon.

To all those moving here or considering it:

Getting things done before our 2 Cat 5 Hurricanes a week apart in September, took awhile.
It now takes much longer and you may have to go a few different places.
If you're lucky, you'll find what you need. But...you might not.

Prices have definitely gone up whether at grocery stores or other places!

Internet services are still not available in many areas.

ATT cell phone internet service sorta comes and goes, depending on location and time of day.
And they're the best we've got, right now.

VIYA, the local phone company is not providing phone nor internet to new customers as yet. Many of their old customers have yet to have service restored.

Many businesses are still without internet, credit card and phone capability.

WAPA our electricity provider, is having difficulty generating reliable power so outages are numerous.

There are still dangling power lines and lots of overflowing garbage bins and roadside debris.

There are mega potholes and few streetlights. Some roads are downright dangerous.

Individual healthcare insurance is not available and our hospitals are a mess.

If you're not an extremely calm and patient person, our islands, at this point in time, may not be the right move.

BTW - Hurricane Seaon begins again in June. 3 months from now.

This is a Reality Check.

Re: Reality Check for Anyone Thinking of Moving to VI this Year

SkysTheLimit
March 02, 2018 04:53PM

Registered: 11 years ago
Posts: 1,910

Well Said!

Quote
Gator's Mom
Have you actually visited to check out how things are on STJ and STX as well as STT? Your experience may not be universal.

I think recovery is progressing differently on each island and differently from neighborhood to neighborhood. My neighborhood on STX has cell service, BBVI, pretty reliable power and roadside debris is gone.

WAPA is NOT having generation issues with the power plants - rather its still tweaking its transmission and distribution service causing periodic outages. There will be more outages when the pole replacement/improvement project gets underway for sure.

No matter what, building supplies are in great demand. Everyone on STX who can afford to is busy working on home projects in anticipation of Hurricane Season redux.

Hurricanes blow some people away from and others toward the VI. Just part of the nature of the place.

Quote
Alana33
I posted this on another thread but thought it might be good information for those considering a move any time soon.

To all those moving here or considering it:

Getting things done before our 2 Cat 5 Hurricanes a week apart in September, took awhile.
It now takes much longer and you may have to go a few different places.
If you're lucky, you'll find what you need. But...you might not.

Prices have definitely gone up whether at grocery stores or other places!

Internet services are still not available in many areas.

ATT cell phone internet service sorta comes and goes, depending on location and time of day.
And they're the best we've got, right now.

VIYA, the local phone company is not providing phone nor internet to new customers as yet. Many of their old customers have yet to have service restored.

Many businesses are still without internet, credit card and phone capability.

WAPA our electricity provider, is having difficulty generating reliable power so outages are numerous.

There are still dangling power lines and lots of overflowing garbage bins and roadside debris.

There are mega potholes and few streetlights. Some roads are downright dangerous.

Individual healthcare insurance is not available and our hospitals are a mess.

If you're not an extremely calm and patient person, our islands, at this point in time, may not be the right move.

BTW - Hurricane Seaon begins again in June. 3 months from now.

This is a Reality Check.

Re: Reality Check for Anyone Thinking of Moving to VI this Year

vicanuck
March 02, 2018 05:11PM

Registered: 8 years ago
Posts: 2,285

Everything is pretty much normal here on STX.

Re: Reality Check for Anyone Thinking of Moving to VI this Year

Alana33
March 02, 2018 05:43PM

Registered: 6 years ago
Posts: 12,113

My point was to give those moving here a heads up.

What's "normal" for us may be light years away for what's normal for them.

Glad all the debris on roadsides on STX is gone, roads are fixed, everyone has their phones, internet, cable TV back up and running well, WAPA functioning like a finely tuned electric plant, all businesses and homes are fully restored and STX is looking great?

Gimme a break.

Our islands aren't normal at the best of times which is why many of us often say that "island life isn't suitable for everyone."

If they don't mind the expense, the challenges and the differences, have an adventurous spirit and take things in stride, I say "go for it" but don't walk in blinded by expectations that may not be realistic.

Lack of individual health insurance and the state of our hospitals, as well as many schools, having to put money into GERS that they'll never get back, very well may be a deciding point for many.

Best to just put it out there.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/02/2018 05:47PM by Alana33.

Re: Reality Check for Anyone Thinking of Moving to VI this Year

CaptainMalibu
March 03, 2018 01:08AM

Registered: 3 years ago
Posts: 90

Alanna, why do you live here? You seem to be so negative about life here.

Re: Reality Check for Anyone Thinking of Moving to VI this Year

stjohnjulie
March 03, 2018 02:29AM

Registered: 10 years ago
Posts: 805

On STJ, the roads definitely need some work. They tend to fill in the same 'bad' holes with a patch every couple of months or so. Street lights on the Cruz Bay side of things are steadily lighting up. Still missing quite a few road signs.

Internet service is still largely out for residential. Businesses still lose connectivity with some frequency and cannot process credit cards. Viya has been doing quite a bit of line work, but there is a ways to go. ATT service is still poor pretty frequently.

Prices for most things are about 20% higher than they were pre storms.

Several businesses are still closed. Some never to reopen.

There is still a lot of clean up to be done. It's not quite as noticeable with the growth of vegetation (lots of vines). The Dumpsters get full fast, but they are much more on top of it now than they were a couple of months ago. I bet that will change in less than a week when roadside clean up ends March 7th.

On STJ, a sense of normalcy is slowly returning. I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that we are just used to the way things are now. Things are slow going for us. Without a customs office, DLCA office, Tropical office, Tax office, we find ourselves having to go to STT to get a lot of things done.

In the last month I've seen a lot of residents that left after the storms return. They tend to be months behind the people who stayed in their perception of things. Feels weird to me to start rehashing the 'storms' stories with people I haven't seen in 6 months. The people that have been here the whole time stopped talking about that months ago.

Re: Reality Check for Anyone Thinking of Moving to VI this Year

Alana33
March 03, 2018 08:09AM

Registered: 6 years ago
Posts: 12,113

Quote
CaptainMalibu
Alanna, why do you live here? You seem to be so negative about life here.

Not being negative just realistic.
There are many things I absolutely love about the VI and living here.

I do think that people contemplating such a big move and life change should be aware of the differences and what they may have to deal with in the aftermath of 2 hurricanes and the continuing recovery efforts.

Been back 31 days and I'm on my 18th WAPA outage this morning.

I'm prepared. I've got a large bucket of water, a large pot filled and extra drinking water. Made coffee on the propane stove and sitting on the deck enjoying the absolutely gorgeous views on this beautiful morning.

My friends just got internet back after 177 days and they were thrilled, until it went down again. I still don't have internet except thru my AT&T cell service (which is slow and can be spotty) but it hasn't proved to be a major inconvenience at this time.
Someone relying on reliable power and internet to work might be pulling their hair out.

It's best to be aware of what moving to the VI may entail.

Re: Reality Check for Anyone Thinking of Moving to VI this Year

vicanuck
March 03, 2018 09:04AM

Registered: 8 years ago
Posts: 2,285

Its crazy busy on St. Croix! With all the new people coming to the island, real estate is hopping. The island looks beautiful. Roadside debris is almost gone, downed communication lines are being collected. Power has been pretty reliable too. I haven't had any real communication issues with the land lines or ATT. BBVI has done an excellent job restoring service. My AirBNB is booked solid. Overall, its pretty much back to normal here.

Re: Reality Check for Anyone Thinking of Moving to VI this Year

Ca. Dreamers
March 03, 2018 09:10AM

Registered: 8 years ago
Posts: 389

Quote
CaptainMalibu
Alanna, why do you live here? You seem to be so negative about life here.

Agreed! She needs to crawl back in in her hole and leave us alone.

And BTW we here on STX are doing just fine FIY.

Internet, Dish Network, Power, as good as it ever was.

Beaches are coming back, roads "soon come"

This our home!

CD

Re: Reality Check for Anyone Thinking of Moving to VI this Year

Alana33
March 03, 2018 09:16AM

Registered: 6 years ago
Posts: 12,113

I'm happy for you all that STX is moving forward so quickly.

There's absolutely no reason Ca. Dreamer to be rude, insulting and derogatory towards me.
Talk about negative!

Re: Reality Check for Anyone Thinking of Moving to VI this Year

Gator's Mom
March 03, 2018 09:36AM

Registered: 5 years ago
Posts: 948

But again, this is your experience north side STT.

East End STX - Christiansted to the Yacht Club things seem pretty normal (VI normal) though we have AT&T cell service at our house for the FIRST TIME EVER. Government or business contact needs to be face-to-face - but that's not any different than before the storms. Home Depot has limited merchandise.

There are other parts of STX that were closer to Maria's eye that are struggling mightily. So many blue roofs with Hurricane Season on the horizon ......

Husband has been on Tortola and STT recently. His opinion Tortola is still a mess with some stretches of main roads now single lane. Traffic is dreadful. He saw the catamaran still on top of the building in Fat Hog's Bay. STT road repairs and debris cleanup (Red Hook to Charlotte Amalie) were visually behind similar areas on STX.


Quote
Alana33
Quote
CaptainMalibu
Alanna, why do you live here? You seem to be so negative about life here.

Not being negative just realistic.
There are many things I absolutely love about the VI and living here.

I do think that people contemplating such a big move and life change should be aware of the differences and what they may have to deal with in the aftermath of 2 hurricanes and the continuing recovery efforts.

Been back 31 days and I'm on my 18th WAPA outage this morning.

I'm prepared. I've got a large bucket of water, a large pot filled and extra drinking water. Made coffee on the propane stove and sitting on the deck enjoying the absolutely gorgeous views on this beautiful morning.

My friends just got internet back after 177 days and they were thrilled, until it went down again. I still don't have internet except thru my AT&T cell service (which is slow and can be spotty) but it hasn't proved to be a major inconvenience at this time.
Someone relying on reliable power and internet to work might be pulling their hair out.

It's best to be aware of what moving to the VI may entail.

Re: Reality Check for Anyone Thinking of Moving to VI this Year

stxem
March 03, 2018 10:27AM

Registered: 12 years ago
Posts: 859

Things are fairly back to normal in Frederiksted. Most businesses have internet and phones back. AT&T has been great out west since the storm. Broadband has been reconnecting Frederiksted homes in the past few weeks.

The FEMA ship is gone, so we can walk along, dive and jump off the pier again! I didn’t realize how much we had all been missing that aspect of Frederiksted! Most of the debris is gone, although there’s still a couple large tree stumps overturned. Hotels are completely booked, but filled with lots of relief workers so tourists are finding it hard to find lodging and car rentals. This is affecting local businesses because while relief workers do spend money, they work every day—so have 1 day a week to go out a do tours, eat out etc, rather than the 7 days a week a tourist has.

However, there are lots of jobs available and almost every restaurant I know is hiring—especially line cooks. There’s a marked shortage of them.

There are rumors of another ship coming in to house a large contingent of roofers—apparently FEMA must get all the blue roofs fixed by June 1st. This is just coconut Telegraph rumor, and no one seems to know anything official.

Beaches are coming back too out West—there’s a large swell expected from the Nor’easter this weekend that will hopefully bring even more sand back!

Re: Reality Check for Anyone Thinking of Moving to VI this Year

East Ender
March 03, 2018 10:36AM

Registered: 13 years ago
Posts: 5,004

As a point of information: St Croix had one storm. St John took the brunt of Irma, and St Thomas got a bad hit also. Maria just finished us both off from the other side. I don't doubt that St Croix is in better shape, except for maybe their hospital? The fact that this board has basically become St Croix Moving Center since the storms, gives some idea of how people are recovering.

I am not being negative, but it is going to be a long time before St Thomas and St John are even the new normal. Not having hotel guests is hard on our economies. Living with mountains of galvanized roofing and refrigerators is tiring.

Now let us all be nice...

Re: Reality Check for Anyone Thinking of Moving to VI this Year
avatar

Exit Zero
March 03, 2018 10:54AM

Registered: 10 years ago
Posts: 2,267

I am glad to hear things are normal on STX .
Not so on STT, even having sustained minor structural damage to the house I have lived in for 38 years, the situation around me is far from being restored or normal.
I can count 18 Blue Tarp roofs frm my deck, and more destroyed shells of house that are unlivable.
No cable or internet, or landline and intermittent power.
Massive potholes growing daily, less road debris but still plenty of fallen trees covered in vines, prices on Everything have escalated, food available is getting better but I have lived here a long time --- "this ain't Normal"!
It is very expensive to achieve NORMAL right now. Well above my financial means, but I am comfortable with less and feel I am lucky to have more realistic expectations and am better off than Many who lost much.
As a forum dedicated to 'Moving' it is appropriate to heed the Op's words of experience. It is a vastly different island going forward and anyone contemplating a move here should be aware of the difficult situation and drastic economy right now.
It is a new normal I guess.
Or consider moving to STX where it sounds like life has been less affected by 2 major hurricanes.

Re: Reality Check for Anyone Thinking of Moving to VI this Year

speee1dy
March 03, 2018 02:44PM

Registered: 10 years ago
Posts: 8,659

From my understanding not everyone on etc has power. Internet or cable. Pot holes are still everywhere. I saw roadside debris just today. Places still need to be repaired.

If this is the new normal.....

But yet , things are improving. Being a realist isn't being negative.

Re: Reality Check for Anyone Thinking of Moving to VI this Year

Scubadoo
March 03, 2018 03:05PM

Registered: 4 years ago
Posts: 2,143

Quote
East Ender
As a point of information: St Croix had one storm. St John took the brunt of Irma, and St Thomas got a bad hit also.

Not having hotel guests is hard on our economies. Living with mountains of galvanized roofing and refrigerators is tiring.

Valid points to remember. And STT had a lot more to lose in terms of hotel rooms. STX has far fewer hotels to begin with and only two large ones. Lots of condos and villas for rent and most condos on STX sustained little damage.

Re: Reality Check for Anyone Thinking of Moving to VI this Year

stxem
March 04, 2018 02:42AM

Registered: 12 years ago
Posts: 859

I don’t think anyone (including me) saying what it’s like on STX right now is diminishing what is going on on st Thomas/St John. Just being realistic. I apologize if anything I said came off as so.

We were also greatly affected in STX but the purveying mood on island seems to be one of optimism...We’re used to being kicked to the curb, so this almost feels like business as usual.

Re: Reality Check for Anyone Thinking of Moving to VI this Year

stjohnjulie
March 04, 2018 03:14AM

Registered: 10 years ago
Posts: 805

I'm really glad to hear that STX is doing so well! You guys jumped into action to help us after Irma. The first 7-8 days or so after Irma you were really the only people helping us. Bringing us supplies, evacuating and housing people for us. Really don't know how to thank our sister for that. Again, I'm so glad that you guys are doing so well and I'm glad that this thread was started because I didn't even realize how well you were doing!

We are making strides every day, but there are still lots of homes that have lots of work to do either repairing so they can be lived in again, being demolished, and way more that are far from being close to the way they were before.

Somehow, my little wooden home survived intact. None of my immediate neighbors were as lucky, even the ones with concrete homes. Even though we've spent many days and hours on cleaning up the downed trees in our yard, that still has a long way to go too.

STJ had only two major hotels. One is closed until Jan 2019, the other may not open again at all (no work has been done at Caneel at all). Wharfisde Village is still closed except for a couple of stores. The Lumberyard was destroyed. The Marketplace and most of Mongoose Junction did well too. We don't have many tourists as of yet. But we are seeing some cruise ship visitors. The outpouring of support from our visitors has been incredible.

The shift from disaster mode to long term recovery has been happening over the last month or so. And it's going to take a long time for STJ to recover. Crossing my fingers we don't get another bad hit this hurricane season. Everything that is left is still really fragile and I as glad as I am to know that people have blue roofs to tide them over, I don't think they can withstand a hurricane.

Re: Reality Check for Anyone Thinking of Moving to VI this Year

rosesisland
March 04, 2018 07:50AM

Registered: 6 years ago
Posts: 712

I'm glad everyone thinks STX is normal again. Not my experience here.
A new normal at best.
ATT iffy.
Wifi is now costing me triple now because it will take months for VIYA to get back in my area.
Debris and wires still down all around our neighborhood.
Rt. 63 falling in, in two places down to one lane, one on blind curve.
Yes, we lost businesses in Frederiksted and gained a few with crappy customer service.
I can drink alone at home cheaper.
Road to Rainbow beach has to be traveled at idle speeds or you could lose the front end of a vehicle.
Every errand I run takes me longer, almost double what it took before storms.
West end is littered with blue roofs especially west of the airport...looks like about 80% or more in that area lost their roofs and not fix yet.
Eastender, I felt Irma as we never got power back after she came through.
Alana...I agree with you!

Re: Reality Check for Anyone Thinking of Moving to VI this Year

Ca. Dreamers
March 04, 2018 08:23AM

Registered: 8 years ago
Posts: 389

Quote
Alana33
I'm happy for you all that STX is moving forward so quickly.

There's absolutely no reason Ca. Dreamer to be rude, insulting and derogatory towards me.
Talk about negative!

I don't usually converse with idiots on the internet.

But to call me rude, insulting and derogatory is the biggest bit of fake new that ever came out anyone here on this page.

Please, just leave again and I think the majority of us will be happier, at least I will be!

THE END

CD

Re: Reality Check for Anyone Thinking of Moving to VI this Year

Alana33
March 04, 2018 08:45AM

Registered: 6 years ago
Posts: 12,113

Quote
Ca. Dreamers
Quote
Alana33
I'm happy for you all that STX is moving forward so quickly.

There's absolutely no reason Ca. Dreamer to be rude, insulting and derogatory towards me.
Talk about negative!

I don't usually converse with idiots on the internet.

But to call me rude, insulting and derogatory is the biggest bit of fake new that ever came out anyone here on this page.

Please, just leave again and I think the majority of us will be happier, at least I will be!

THE END

CD

I call it like I see it and I think anyone reading your posts to me would have to agree. You are.

You've been rude, derogatory and insulting, not once but twice, now.
I have no idea what your problem is but you really should just knock off your BS.

Re: Reality Check for Anyone Thinking of Moving to VI this Year

East Ender
March 04, 2018 01:22PM

Registered: 13 years ago
Posts: 5,004

rosesisland: I didn't mean to say you didn't get anything from Irma, but as Julie mentioned, things were going great over here between Irma and Maria- people were able to get a boat to St Croix or Puerto Rico and to get to the mainland from there. I think we were in great shape to recover. After Maria, it was like St Thomas (and especially St John) were leper colonies. No airport- for how long? No supplies from St Croix and PR. It was like the zombie apocalypse.

Julie: We went to St John for dinner last night and ran into some tourists. Had a great discussion with them and how positively they viewed everything. Told them to let everyone know! Was glad to see Morgan's Mango reopened. You all have much better restaurants than we do- The Terrace,Ocean 362, Morgan's, etc. I was never a Beach Bar fan, but I know some people miss it. All of our places are pizza, burgers, and bar food. Our fine dining places are all still closed. Long live St John!!

If you can't say something nice, don't say nothin' at all.

Re: Reality Check for Anyone Thinking of Moving to VI this Year

singlefin
March 04, 2018 04:24PM

Registered: 4 years ago
Posts: 775

Alana:

You have a wealth of great information, about a great many things here in the USVI, and your willingness to share that information is a truly great thing for all of us, but your "As you see it" posts can be to much at times.
You sometimes remind me of some cable news network "commentators" who unfortunately spend too much time expressing their own personal opinions, and not necessarily the facts.
Call it "Fake News" or whatever you like, but in many cases it's simply exaggerated, unsubstantiated, opinion, specifically expressed to get a rise out of others.
Honestly,
If you ran a cable news network, there's no doubt you'd have fantastic ratings.

Re: Reality Check for Anyone Thinking of Moving to VI this Year

Alana33
March 04, 2018 06:02PM

Registered: 6 years ago
Posts: 12,113

Gee, thanks, Singlefin!

I'm just trying to be upfront about our situation in STT and STJ where other family members live and challenges newcomers may face.

It didn't call for a personal attack on me, (2X's) telling me to crawl back in my hole, calling me an idiot, etc.
It's offensive and unwarranted.

Stick to the subject matter.

I believe anyone moving here should be cognizant of the situations they may find themselves dealing with and to be as prepared as possible.

I will also applaud all those in STX who graciously and wonderfully came to the rescue of STT & STJ after we got slammed with Irma.
I was saddened to see and hear STX experiencing Maria and us getting a 2fer within a week.

I'm looking forward to all of us getting back to the old "normal," ASAP, warts and all.

I don't think that anything I've posted can be catorgized as either fake news or necessitated unwarranted and ugly personal attacks.

I am telling it like it is and shall continue to do so.
I am also happy to help those I can.

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