We seem to always be behind publishing our adventures on Modern Life is Good. One adventure I had hoped to release sooner was our return to St. Maarten following Hurricane Irma. On the 6 and 7 September 2017 St. Maarten was hit by Category 5 Hurricane Irma. The hurricane caused widespread devastation and resulted in the loss of 4 lives. It was reported that 70% of all infrastructure was destroyed.
We had previously visited St Maarten in April 2017, several months prior to Irma. Our return trip was in August 2018 less than 1 year after Irma devastated the island. Signs of the devastating impact of the Hurricane was unmissable, but the recovery was unbelievable. While buildings were still getting rebuilt, new services, business and facilities were developing at pace.
The cruise industry is hugely important to St. Maarten. Philipsburg is one of the busiest cruise ports in the world and can welcome up to 6 ships in any one day. Following Irma, the port was closed for 13 weeks until a gradual reopening from December 2017.
The island still is friendly and still possesses its rather unique Caribbean experience. While there were plenty of shops still being rebuilt there was still plenty of expensive shops to empty
Our visit was only short and we did not venture outside of Philipsburg. While recovery was happening at pace in the Dutch Capital, we were not aware if similar rates of recovery were happening
We enjoyed our repeat trip to St. Maarten and hope to return for a 4th visit in the future. Our video shows how the island looked in August 2018 with comparisons from our April 2017 trip.