Hurricane Irma Updates - Isle Blue
Hurricane Irma Updates
| POSTED ON September 5th, 2017
POSTED IN

Friday September 15th Update

St Barts Update

After a long and excruciating wait we are happy to announce that St Barts is quickly getting back up on it’s feet. Electricity and internet communications are being restored. The airport is open, the bakery and super markets are open as well.
We received a preliminary report that the island may be ready to begin welcoming guests back by November 1, 2017. A survey of villas and island conditions is currently being done and we will provide further updates shortly. Please note that the November 1st date is subject to change pending further information regarding the pace of island recovery and an assessment on travel logistics.
Thank you for all your kind word and support. We look forward to welcoming you back to St Barts.

St Martin Update

The majority of our villas on St Martin have now established March 31, 2018 as a tentative date to be able to welcome guests back with the same level of experience they have enjoyed before.

If you have a pending reservation prior to March 31, 2018, you should have received an email notice regarding cancellation with full refund. We will be delighted to assist you with relocating to new destinations.

 

Wednesday September 13th Update

St Martin Update

We appreciate your patience and understanding during this incredibly difficult period. St Martin is beginning to slowly recover but electricity and communications systems are still challenged. The pace of recovery will accelerate once the services have been restored.

We have received preliminary updates from the property managers on St Martin and at this time, all reservations for stays up to December 15th have been cancelled and full refunds will be provided.  A further assessment on the recovery and a survey of villas will be performed in the next few weeks and we will update guests that have pending reservations beyond December 15, 2017.

Please note that the refunds will likely be delayed until the property management companies and banking services on the island resume operations.  Deposits and payments are held in escrow accounts by the property managers and we will need to await the release of funds back to our company in order to issue refunds.  We do not have a timeline on when this process will occur but we will keep you updated as best we can.

For guests that wish to travel to another destination and desire to be relocated, we will be delighted to assist you in this process. Our recommended destination options are:

Antigua
Barbados
Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
Costa Rica
Jamaica
Mayan Riviera, Mexico
Mustique
Nevis
Punta Mita, Mexico
Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
St Lucia

For our guests that desire to be relocated to another villa but may be impacted by the delay in refund, Isle Blue has arranged a special credit facility and arrangements with partners.  Your expected refund will be applied as a credit towards a new villa reservation.  To find alternative villas, simply reply back to this email.  Due to the expected volume, we have expanded our specialist team and we will be operating 7 days a week until we have properly addressed all the relocation needs of our guests.  Our villa experts are now available to provide suggested options that are comparable to your current reservation.

Lastly, we thank you for your continued patience and cooperation. Your messages of support and show of compassion have been extraordinary.  Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns.

Turks and Caicos

Beach Enclave Villas are reopening in mid November. Grace Bay Club will re-open on September 30th.  The island experienced flooding and strong winds. Initial reports are that villas on the North Side (along Grace Bay beach) fared well. We do not have an assessment on accommodations along the south shore that experienced storm surges.

St Barts

General services are slowly returning. Communications and electricity is still limited to Gustavia and St Jean. Supermarche has reopened. The port and airport have re-opened. We hope to provide more comprehensive updates once communication channels have improved.

 

Monday 3PM Update

After an exceptionally challenging few days compounded by hurricane Jose, rays of hope and promise begin to shine as the calvary arrives and a sustained recovery takes hold. While there are many challenges that remain, the green shoots of recovery is a welcome relief.

Here is a status update on affected islands:

St Martin

Main roads have been cleared allowing for traffic to pass.  Phone lines are slowly being restored for cellular operations,  Land lines have been reinstalled in Marigot. Electricity and water are available only in Marigot.
The French and Dutch Governments have mobilized and have made historic commitments to the island boding a bright economic promise for the island. The security situation has stabilized and a curfew is in effect.
For our guests with pending St Martin reservations, we should have an update by Wednesday as we await communications by our partners. However, we have initiated contingency planning for our guests with reservations within 60 days due to the high unlikelihood that the island will be suitable for a vacation visit.   The options that are currently available are relocation to any of the 35 destinations we offer and rescheduling your visit. We are awaiting an update regarding cancellations and refunds.  At this time, each of the guests traveling within the next 60 days should have received an email from our office. If you have not received an email please contact us immediately.

For this guests traveling 60 days or further, we will be contacting you within the next week to provide an update and options

St Barts

The recovery of St Barts shows great promise. The streets have been cleared of debris. The super marche has re-opened. The port has re-opend for food delivery. The government has created wi-fi spots at several locations on the island. There was an impromptu street party the other day with local band.  The town hall will re-open tomorrow and government services are resuming. Initial reports are that hillside villas did relatively well due to nature of their construction but please note it is very early to make any determinations. We hope to have a clearer picture within the next week.

We have begun contingency planning for guests traveling within 60 days. An email communication has been sent but please contact us immediately if you have not received a contingency planning email from us.

 

Thank you again for all the kind messages of support.  Our guests are the best in the world. It’s an absolute privilege and honor for us to be entrusted with your confidence and support.  We are fully committed to mitigating any adverse effects as soon as possible to our guests.

Saturday 9AM Update

The situation on St Martin, St Barts and BVIs remains severe. Turks and Caicos was directly impacted as well and we are awaiting word from the island.  Unfortunately, the islands of St Martin and St Barts will be impacted in the next 24 hours by rapidly strengthening Hurricane Jose, an especially cruel event following one of the most treacherous storms in history. Our hearts are devastated for those in such callous and forlorn situations.

On St Martin, electricity remains out as the main power plant was damaged. Expectations are that electricity will not be restored in the near term.  Gas is currently being rationed for generators.  The military has re-opened Grand Case for military, med evacuation and relief flights.  Women and children are being evacuated.  Princess Juliana suffered an electrical fire to the control tower.

On St Barts, the island was effectively cut off after the storm. Helicopters were the only means of access.  As of this morning, electricity and communications systems are slowly being restored. Availability of these services is severely limited. The airport has re-opened for relief flights. No ferry service is available at this time.

For our guests traveling to these impacted areas in the next 60 days, we have begun contingency planning until we receive communications from our island partners that will enable us to provide affirmable actions. Given the gravity of the situation, restoration of communications with the island partners will be delayed beyond our previous expectations.  Please note we are working as hard as we can to mitigate any affects of this storm on our upcoming guests.   Once we have contact and assessment of the situation, each guest will be provided an update of the situation and provided with options and guidance.

At this time, we recommend contingency planning for our guests traveling in the next 60 days.  We are reaching out to each potentially affected guest to initiate planning over this weekend.  We are here to support you and minimize the adversity of the situation.

Lastly, we wish to thank you for all your support and show of concern. Your messages of compassion have been tremendous and endearing. We continue to hope and pray for those on these devastated islands that recovery takes hold.

 

Wednesday 4:15 PM Update

Phone and Cellular Communications have been cut off since earlier in the day

Internet service is disrupted

Marigot experienced a storm surge with flooding

Toppled trees and metal roofs are downed

The roof of St Maarten airport has been breached with the metal coverings crumpled

Brief note: Photos and videos of damage to St Martin and St Barts are beginning to be posted. While these images are devastating, do not underestimate the islands ability to rebound very quickly. For instance, St Martin was surprised with a sudden category 2 hurricane recently and was back in full operation within a week or so.  Hurricanes are part of the DNA of the islands. The people are resilient and hardworking. We fully expect these islands to rebound quickly and stronger than ever, as they always do. For now, our thoughts and prayers are on the welfare of the people with our greatest hope and blessing that no souls have been lost.

Wednesday 8:36 AM Update

Flooding in Marigot- St Martin

Significant flooding in Gustavia-St Barts

Damage to Fleming Hospital Roof on St Martin

Resident Videos can be found at https://www.facebook.com/RCIGUADELOUPE971/

 

Wednesday 7:40AM Update

Facebook Live video posted by SXM Mole shows Simpson Bay in the eye of the hurricane. A 19 minute walkthrough Simpson Bay during the short reprieve displays damage to boats in Simpson lagoon, downed trees, damaged cars, a breached roof and considerable debris.  SXM Mole has a live stream going on now of the island’s exit out of the eye with winds rapidly increasing with flying debris.

Wednesday 6:30 AM Updates from St Martin/St Maarten (please note these are unconfirmed reports)

Flooding in Nettle Bay with up to 1m of water on the oceanside developments

Electricity has been cut but internet and phone connections are still operating in certain areas

Phillipsburg is currently in the eye of the storm. Damaging winds expected shortly with exit of the eye wall.

The antenna on Pic Paradis is reportedly downed

Tuesday 2PM Updates from St Martin/St Maarten:

Water service and electricity on the French side will be cut off as of Tuesday afternoon.

Princess Juliana airport is closed effectively at 2PM on Tuesday. American Airlines has cancelled flights to St Maarten and St Kitts for Wednesday Sept 6th and Sept 7th

Evacuations have been ordered for Grand Case and French Cul de Sac

The French Marines (approximately 400) have arrived on Monday night for preparations and assistance for the hurricane. 100 Dutch marines have arrived

Tuesday 10AM

Off the heals of Hurricane Harvey that devastated the southern gulf coast of Texas arrives one of the most powerful and dangerous hurricanes in history. Hurricane Irma threatens the Leeward Islands 22 years to the date of hurricane Luis that devastated the area with winds of 135 mph as a category 3 hurricane.

As of 2PM eastern on Tuesday Sept 5th, hurricane Irma is forecast to directly hit St Martin with the actual center point of the storm passing through Orient Beach and Grand Case.  Sustained winds of 185 mph with gusts up to 215 mph are expected in the next 24 hours.

The forecasted path of Irma will impact the leeward islands of St Martin, St Barts, Anguilla, St Kitts, Nevis and Antigua with Anguilla, St Martin and St Barts being the closest to the center of the actually center.

Once Irma passes the Leewards, the hurricane will impact the BVIs, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Cuba and Turks and Caicos before taking aim to the southern aspect of Florida and into the Gulf of Mexico.

No words or emotions can properly convey the concern and hope for the residents in the path of hurricane Irma. Our employees, friends and partners who we consider part of our family will be in harm’s way in a circumstance that is unimaginable by any stretch of the imagination.  We pray and hope for their safe passage through Irma.

We will post information as we gather updates. We expect communications from the island will be cut off for the next few days as services will be cut in anticipation of the storm with a likely delay in restoring services.

If there is one silver lining, the leeward islands learned a tremendous lesson with hurricane Luis 22 years ago. Following the devastation, the islands of St Martin and St Barts have enacted legislation and reforms that have made these islands resilient to hurricanes. Building codes and infrastructure were created to withstand category 3 hurricane conditions. The early deployment of French troops prior to hurricanes provides an exceptional resource and level of coordination to hasten recovery and rebuild.  These islands bounce back quickly and we expect the same going forward despite entering into unchartered territory.

For our guests with upcoming stays at affected islands, your personal concierge will be reaching out to you in the next few days.  Once we make an assessment on the island conditions and the need for clean up, we will provide recommendations and advice for the best course of action. Please feel free to contact us if you have questions or concerns. Our office remains open throughout the storm and we are here to assist you.

We will post information as we gather updates. We expect communications from the island will be cut off for the next few days as services will be cut in anticipation of the storm with a likely delay in restoring services.

 

Recommended sites to follow the storm:

RadioTransat (St Barts Radio)

Island 92 (St Maarten Radio)

Stormpulse

National Hurricane Center

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Isle Blue, LLC
1209 Churchill Downs Drive
Waxhaw, North Carolina 28173
USA
Have a question? Need more information?

Send us a message and a villa specialist will contact you as soon as possible!

START A LIVE CHAT SESSION
Toll Free: 1.855.475.3258
International: +1.704.256.8327 (USA)
Fax: 1.866.521.9771
Villa and Reservation Inquires:
[email protected]
Concierge & Guest Relations inquiries:
[email protected]
Isle Blue, LLC
1209 Churchill Downs Drive
Waxhaw, North Carolina 28173
USA