STRONGEST HURRICANE IN THE ATLANTIC MAKES LANDFALL IN THE BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS
In the middle of the day on September 6th, 2017 Hurricane Irma, a category 5 storm, made landfall in the British Virgin Islands. At the time, it was the strongest hurricane to make landfall in the Atlantic.
The eye of the storm traveled directly over 3 of the main islands in the BVI, Tortola, Jost Van Dyke, and Virgin Gorda. From locals on the ground we heard that they clocked in winds up to 250 mph with gusts sending even the largest catamaarans flying through the air.
There was widespread destruction and many locals are thankful that the storm made landfall during the day, claiming it saved their lives.
Our Founder, Britnie Turner, was a frequent visitor in the BVI for years before Irma and when she heard of the news and was unable to make contact with anyone in the islands, she got her little sister, brother-in-law, and herself on the first flight they could find that would get them into the BVI for the sole purpose of looking for her friends bodies.
WATCH THE AFTER IRMA SURVIVOR INTERVIEW SERIES
MARIA DESTORYS MOST OF WHATEVER IRMA LEFT
Upon entering the country Britnie was able to find and make contact with all of her friends. After that, she quickly turned her attention to the next immediate need. Hurricane Maria, another category 5 storm, was headed direclty to the BVI only 2 weeks later.
With little time to prepare, Britnie and her small team of volunteers and local help were able to help repair the local storm shelter that was pouring water through the ceiling and without any power. It was a short fix, but it was something that locals could rely on to brave out Maria.
Maria passed, basically destroying anything that Irma had left. It was time to get to work.
The last thing the world saw of BVI from national news was that the entire country was leveled and that nothing was left over. For a nation whose main pillar of their economy is tourism, news like that is destructive and detrimental even years after the inItial damage of the storm.
Britnie decided that she could use her media production company, Aerial Produced to tell the story of resiliency and recovery in the BVI. The team would interview locals to hear about their experiences, learn from best practices, and collaborate with the local government to share what they learned. Britnie, her team, and a grow database of volunteers would continue to return to the BVI every month over the next several years.
CLICK BELOW TO SEE OUR WORK IN BVI OVER THE YEARS
WATCH THE BVI STRONGER WEBSERIES
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Click below to view the stories from past initiatives.