How Hurricane Maria Has Changed St. Croix

The south west corner of St. Croix after Hurricane Maria. (Melody Rames image)
Sandals Grande Antigua Resort & Spa
The south west corner of St. Croix after Hurricane Maria. (Melody Rames image)

By Melody Rames

The Real Hurricane Chronicles

News Americas, ST. CROIX, USVI, Fri. Oct. 13, 2017: I had to see it for myself because everyone was talking about how the south west corner of the island of St. Croix is cut off from the rest of the island.

So I travelled up the road in the direction of the Vincent Mason Pool and as soon as I passed the last two beige condo buildings on the sea side The Road Ends! There is water where the road used to be.

I put my car in park. I’m so fascinated by the scene in front of me I don’t even turn off the engine. I get out. It’s like I’m in a trance. I have never seen anything like this on St. Croix before.

The landscape is totally changed. Not only is there water where the road used to be, there is a pristine sandy beach and incredibly blue water just a few feet to my right.

Wait a minute! We used to have to drive across sand and go past vegetation and THEN walk across the beach to get to the sea. But there is the sea not 20 steps from the road … What the heck am I seeing?

I turn to the left and the Salt Pond is still there. The vegetation is still there. The pond still looks kinda dark and frothy. Ok we are still in Kansas. I have not lost my mind.

Then I look in front of me again. At my feet, the asphalt has lifted and buckled and lies buried under who knows how many feet of water.

I look across to the “other side” – about the length of a football field.

There were three army guys who also walked up to see this scene and estimated the distance for me.

I look across the water where the road resumes and spot the broken edge of the asphalt. In front of that is only water and it looks pretty deep.

Beyond that jagged edge of road is the Vincent Mason Facility with the pool, showers, bathrooms; the plaza for large parties and all the BBQ stands for families to come together and have fun.

Further on is the federally protected area where the Leatherback turtles came to lay their eggs.

But this entire area is now totally cut off and not accessible; except if you walk along the beach.

So basically the sea cut across the road and joined with the Salt Pond and captured about 300 yards of land between 2nd Target wall and the Vincent Mason Pool.

And in the act of capturing the land, the entire beach landscape has been totally changed because of Hurricane Maria. This is our new reality – a changed St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Melody Rames is a St. Croix resident, activist and Red Cross volunteer who remains on St. Croix and endured Hurricanes Irma and Maria. She is also a blogger of the #HurricaneChronicles of Facebook.