Hurricane Recovery Journal

DECEMBER 13th 2017

What's Open?

Beaches

Trunk Bay, Honeymoon Bay, Hawksnest Bay, Cinnamon Bay and now Maho Bay are open for your enjoyment.

  • Snorkel gear rentals is available at Trunk Bay from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. 7 days a week until further notice.
  • Snorkel gear, kayaks, stand up paddleboards, chairs and more available at Honeymoon Beach.

Trails

All trails are open for your adventures.

FIFTH BEACH REOPENS AT VIRGIN ISLANDS NATIONAL PARK
Maho Bay post Hurricane IrmaMaho Bay opens December 13, 2017

Maho Bay post Hurricane Irma Christy McManus
Maho Bay Opens NPS photo

December 13, 2017

St. John, Virgin Islands – “Maho Bay Beach has officially reopened” announced Acting Superintendent Darrell Echols. “It doesn’t look quite the same since most of the structures were damaged beyond repair and had to be removed, but the beach itself is open for recreational use.”

Divers checked the swim area for underwater debris and cleared what they found, but, as always, be cautious. Recreational buoys to moor on have all been inspected. A very few have a prominent red tag that means they need additional inspection and repair. The rest are ready for use.

The North Shore road along Maho Beach was undercut on the beach side and is a single lane until repairs take place. The effected road section is delineated with orange cones, but please be cautious when driving in that area. Both parking areas have been cleared and are open.
Getting the road open along Maho Bay was a challenge in the early days after Irma and Maria hit. Tangled trees and debris blocked the width of the road for long stretches. The Arrowhead Hotshot crew from Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks was instrumental in clearing not just the Maho Bay stretch, but the whole length of the North Shore road.

To keep updated as the recovery progresses, follow us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/virginislandsNPS/

-NPS-

Questions and Answers - Post Hurricanes Irma and Maria 2017.

Interview credit with many thanks to Tara Bouis, Pizza Pi

 

What is the current status of the mooring fields?

The mooring buoys are among the 400 marine resources (navigational markers, channel markers buoys, etc.) that need to be visually inspected.  At this time, the condition of each of the mooring buoys is unknown.  As mentioned, dive crews are concentrating on the aids to navigation and channel markers, before moving to the mooring buoys.

 

When do you think the park will reopen for tourists?

The park is still in the emergency stabilization phase.  Hazards (both on land and water), are being identified and mitigated.  There are not currently any facilities for visitors to the park.  The Visitor Center at Cruz Bay is currently closed.  The day use area at Cinnamon Bay will not be open to the public for the foreseeable future. Restrooms and other facilities have been damaged and will need to be rebuilt.

 

How can yacht crew stay up to date with National Parks progress?

As information about park recovery efforts becomes available; it will be posted on the parks webpage: www.nps.gov/VIIS and on the park Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/virginislandsNPS/

 

How should yachts interact with the park during the recovery and rebuild phases?

Patience is the biggest request we have at this time.  We are also working to identify and obtain contact information for the owners of displaced vessels within the boundaries of the park.  Currently we have numerous vessels that we do not have owner contact information.  We ask that vessel owners contact us at caribbean_recovery@nps.gov so that we can make sure we have good contact information.

We also need to know what their plans are for salvage/removal of vessels.

 

Any other information that travel agents and yacht crew may need to know?

We have a long road ahead of us. The park resources and infrastructure that have existed in the past are not currently available.  We are committed to doing all we can to open the park as quickly as possible.

 

  • Michael Johnson, M.Ed

Regional Wildland Fire Communication and Education Specialist

National Park Service

Midwest Regional Office
601 Riverfront Drive
Omaha, NE 68102
402-661-1760 office
402-250-5017 iPhone