St. John Tradewinds News

St. John CommUNITY Update – Dec. 28

This update is brought to St. Johnians by Love City Strong (LCS), St. John Community Foundation, St. John Angel Network, Coral Bay Community Council, St John Rescue, National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD), Kenny Chesney’s Love for Love City, Bloomberg USVI Recovery, and Global DIRT.

The Disaster Recovery Open Community Meeting is on the last Thurs. of every month at 5 pm on the 3rd level of The Marketplace outside of Sam & Jack’s Deli. The public is encouraged to participate.

The National Park has reopened! The National Park Service (NPS) opened all remaining beaches, roads, and trails! NPS tested water quality before reopening beaches. The National Park Visitors’ Center is open 8a-4:30p daily.

Boats are still being returned to owners for free! Contact the Vessel Removal Hotline at 340-423-6353 or caribbean_recovery@nps.gov. Owners continue to have vessels salvaged and returned to them at no cost.

Prescription Assistance – The Emergency Prescription Assistance Program (EPAP) pays for durable medical equipment or a 30-day supply of prescription medication for uninsured residents, renewable while the program is active. Call Express Scripts at 855-793-7470 by Jan. 31. Visit https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/psa/index.html for post-storm health tips.

Register with FEMA by Jan. 8! Federal disaster assistance helps with uninsured or underinsured losses. Visit www.disasterassistance.gov, call 800-621-FEMA, or sign up 8a-5p Mon.-Fri. or 9a-2p Saturdays at either the DRC at the Legislative Annex building in Cruz Bay or the DRC at the Community Council in Coral Bay.

The Coral Bay DRC will close Jan. 13. The Legislative Annex Building Disaster Recovery Center in Cruz Bay will remain open until further notice.

Crisis counselors are available at both DRCs 8a-5p Mon.-Fri. and 9a-2p Saturdays for anyone who would like to talk. The Disaster Distress Helpline is 1-800-985-5990 for immediate assistance.

Disaster Legal Assistance will be at both DRCs on Sat., Dec. 30 at 10a-12p in Cruz Bay and at 10:30a-12:30p in Coral Bay. Call the USVI Disaster Legal Hotline at 800-310-7029 for free disaster-related legal services.

Homeowners and renters now have until Jan. 8 to register with the Small Business Administration (SBA) for low-interest federal loans for disaster-related damages. Business owners looking to file for Economic Injury Loans have until June 7 to register for Hurricane Irma and June 12 to register for Hurricane Maria.

Private nonprofits have until Dec. 29 to file for public assistance for reimbursement for damaged buildings, content, debris removal, and repairs.

Visit FEMA’s Facebook page, FEMA U.S. Virgin Islands, to learn about programs offered.

Don’t give up! If you receive an ineligibility decision from FEMA, you are encouraged to appeal. Applicants may appeal in writing within 60 days from the date the ineligibility letter was received. Guidelines for appeals can be found in the Applicant’s Handbook sent to everyone who registered with FEMA. Call the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362 to update application information or ask questions.

FEMA is hiring! A variety of temporary opportunities are available for 160 days or longer. Inquire with the VI Department of Labor.

Unemployment insurance is available! The VI Department of Labor is open 9:30a-1:30p Mon/Wed/Fri at the Legislature Annex building. Check unemployment claim status by phone at (340) 713-3410. Disaster Unemployment is extended until Dec. 29.

Power is nearly 95% restored! For the safety of restoration crews, WAPA will not restore electricity unless generators are shut off and weather heads are undamaged. Report all electricity issues to the Emergency Call Center 9a-5p daily at (340) 774-1424.

Car barge service runs daily departing from the Cruz Bay Moorhead Marine Facility beginning at 6:15a. The last car ferry currently returns from Red Hook at 5p. Love City Car Ferries, Inc. may be reached at 340-998-9597. NEW YEAR’S DAY HOURS: Jan. 1 Cruz Bay departures are 8a, 10a, 12p, 2p, and 4p, and departing Red Hook at 9a, 11a, 1p, 3p, and 5p.

The passenger ferry service to Red Hook is leaving Cruz Bay every hour on the hour beginning 6a and ending at 7p. The return ferry leaves Red Hook at 6:30a, 7:30a, 8a, and every hour on the hour thereafter with the last departure at 8p.

A FREE east-west shuttle is in service. Two safari taxis run concurrently from the Cruz Bay passenger ferry dock and the Coral Bay Fire Station. The shuttle schedule is: 7:30a, 8a, 9a, 10a, 3p, 4p, 5p, and 5:30p. The first and last trips travel from/to Calabash Boom in Coral Bay.

Clinical & emergency services: Medical services, support, and supplies are provided at the DeCastro clinic. Immunizations and free flu shots are available 10a-1p the first Thursday of each month at the DeCastro Clinic. Signs are posted to notify of any schedule changes.

The Coral Bay Fire Department has been temporarily relocated to Calabash Boom for building repairs and can be reached by satellite phone at 877-521-0811. Call 911 or (340) 776-9110 for emergencies.

Businesses are open with more every day! Here’s what’s operational:

Free-Public WiFi hotspots in town are near Ronnie’s Pizza, Connections, between the BMV building and the tennis court, and on the 3rd floor of the Marketplace. To prevent slow WiFi speed, please disable automatic app updates.

DPW is removing storm debris from primary, secondary, and private roads! Move all storm debris within 10 feet of the roadside and sort by debris type. Appliances, electronics, vegetation, and roofing/construction materials must all be separated.

The Debris Removal Hotline is 340-643-3296. Do not obstruct roads with debris.

Drop off all electronic and hazardous household waste (TVs, computers, paint, oil, gas, batteries, chemicals, etc.) at the MKS ER entrance or at the Coral Bay Fire Station 7:30a-4p Mon.-Sat. and 10a-3p Sun. Collection of household hazardous waste in Coral Bay is Saturdays 10a-2p at the fire station.

Attention, property owners! If you own a multi-family dwelling that needs repairs and are willing to lease to eligible FEMA hurricane survivors, consider the Multi-Family Lease and Repair Program (MLRP), which provides funds to make rental units habitable again and helps displaced residents at the same time. Contact FEMA-USVI-MLR@fema.dhs.gov.

For those abroad wanting to help, monetary donations are encouraged over other offers of assistance. Please do not self-deploy or send unsolicited donated items. Tax-deductible donations may be made to nonprofit organizations supporting St. John’s long-term recovery at stjangels.ngo. Prospective volunteers may register at https://voad.communityos.org/volunteer-registration-usvi-irma.