Your password will need to be updated. Use the “forgot password” feature to create a new password.

Join discussions on moving to and living in the USVI, ask questions, share info & tips!
(Vacationing? Visit Travel Message Board)

Reality Check for Anyone Thinking of Moving to VI this Year  

Page 1 / 7 Next
  RSS
Alana33
(@Alana33)
Expert

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.

ReplyQuote
Posted : March 2, 2018 5:32 pm
Gator's Mom
(@Gator's_Mom)
Trusted Member

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.

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.

ReplyQuote
Posted : March 2, 2018 7:08 pm
SkysTheLimit
(@SkysTheLimit)
Trusted Member

Well Said!

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.

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.

Alan
St. Croix resident since 2000

ReplyQuote
Posted : March 2, 2018 7:53 pm
vicanuck
(@vicanuck)
Trusted Member

Everything is pretty much normal here on STX.

ReplyQuote
Posted : March 2, 2018 8:11 pm
Alana33
(@Alana33)
Expert

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.

ReplyQuote
Posted : March 2, 2018 8:43 pm
CaptainMalibu
(@CaptainMalibu)
Advanced Member

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

ReplyQuote
Posted : March 3, 2018 4:08 am
stjohnjulie
(@stjohnjulie)
Trusted Member

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.

ReplyQuote
Posted : March 3, 2018 5:29 am
Alana33
(@Alana33)
Expert

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.

ReplyQuote
Posted : March 3, 2018 11:09 am
vicanuck
(@vicanuck)
Trusted Member

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.

ReplyQuote
Posted : March 3, 2018 12:04 pm
Ca. Dreamers
(@ca-dreamers)
Advanced Member

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

ReplyQuote
Posted : March 3, 2018 12:10 pm
Alana33
(@Alana33)
Expert

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!

ReplyQuote
Posted : March 3, 2018 12:16 pm
Gator's Mom
(@Gator's_Mom)
Trusted Member

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.

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.

ReplyQuote
Posted : March 3, 2018 12:36 pm
stxem
(@stxem)
Trusted Member

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!

ReplyQuote
Posted : March 3, 2018 1:27 pm
East Ender
(@east-ender)
Expert

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...

ReplyQuote
Posted : March 3, 2018 1:36 pm
Exit Zero
(@exit-zero)
Trusted Member

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.

ReplyQuote
Posted : March 3, 2018 1:54 pm
Page 1 / 7 Next
Close Menu
  
Working

Please Login or Register