Vieques, 85 days after Maria

This is an update about the local situation in Vieques 85 days after being hit by category 5 hurricane Maria on September 20th, 2017.

ViequesBlog, Dec 14, 2017

Vieques beach after Maria

Water service has been restored to 100%.

Electrical service is being provided to Isabel II and neighboring communities via an emergency backup generator owned by the municipality which is running 24  hours a day and supplied with diesel provided by FEMA via Coast Guard ships traveling to Vieques twice a week. The service is projected to expand as more cables, transformers and posts are fixed. Businesses outside the current reach of the emergency generator are operating with private generators.

A potential partnership with Tesla, providing battery storage, and a solar panel company is being evaluated by the PR government. See the link here: http://cleantechnica.com/2017/12/07/tesla-helps-restore-power-island-communities/
Tesla is already supplying solar power to the local hospital, Boys and Girls Club of Vieques, and the elderly community Cuidad Dorada.

Internet service providers are improving slowly. Wifi is available from the town square, Sunami Grill, La Incubadora, Bananas and the Vieques Trust.

Local phone calls are still down.

ATM transactions on businesses and the bank are working most times but sometimes is cash only.

Fuel is supplied now by three gas stations. Most of the time there are short lines due to FEMAs intervention to expand the supply of fuel in the island.

Hospital is operating under tents provided by the military while FEMA and the Health Department fix the problems in the roof of the hospital building.

Biobay is open for tours. It seemed the excessive rains received for weeks after Maria affected the brightness of the bay. That has changed now that the rain pattern is back to normal dry season. The brightness is back as confirmed by a couple of tour operators.

Beaches are open and waters are clean. Sun Bay has the blue flag designation and tested clean for water quality, left over debris from this beach is being cleared this week. Water in other beaches is clear as usual. Vegetation damage is being self-healed very quickly thanks to the rains. Beaches on the Fish and Wildlife Reserve are expected open to the public by next week according to a biologist.

Ferry system is running with a modified schedule. The last ferry from Fajardo to Vieques is now at 6:30 pm and the last one from Vieques to Fajardo is at 4:30 pm.

Restaurants and hotels are opened for business. El Patio Bistro, Mama Mia, Williams Pizza, Shaunas, Coqui Fire, Bananas, Duffys, The Block, Lazy Jacks, and several food trucks among other restaurants are open and more coming up. For hotels, check Ababor Suites, Villa Coral, Casa de Kathy, Esperanza Inn, The Block, Casa Amistad and others.

Many of you have contacted us with supporting thoughts, prayers and donations. Thank you, from the core of our hearts. Please support us even more by coming back to the people and the beaches you have loved before. We are open for business.

 

 

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4 Comments on “Vieques, 85 days after Maria”

  1. Lorraine Bernstein December 14, 2017 at 9:59 pm #

    Good news! Vieques is a magical destination and we are so happy to see things are coming around.

    • Tim Pieper December 15, 2017 at 3:47 am #

      We’ll be back – can’t wait to be able to come and stay longer! Thank you for the update and may god bless you all for your efforts and determination!

  2. Rick Gallup December 15, 2017 at 2:27 pm #

    Never doubted Vieques would come roaring back! So happy We will be back Rick & Honor

  3. Burr Vail December 15, 2017 at 3:56 pm #

    Hacienda Tamardo an inn on the South shore never closed and is still open .

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