N.S. man with property in Virgin Islands concerned for well-being of neighbours
Published Monday, September 11, 2017 9:49PM ADT
A Halifax couple with property in the British Virgin Islands says they’re more worried about their old neighbours living there after Hurricane Irma than they are about damage to their property.
Dan Clouthier and is wife Judy Thomson say communication to the islands has been virtually impossible, so they’ve had to rely on Facebook to keep them updated.
"We just have to be patient and let more important things happen,” says Clouthier, “such as infrastructure being rebuilt, homes being saved, kids being found and put back in schools and all that stuff."
The British Virgin Islands are one of many areas in the Caribbean hit hard when Irma barrelled through as a Category 5.
Clouthier says they’re still unsure whether their home away from home is still standing.
"A lot of infrastructure is down, telephone lines, homes have all been destroyed so in terms of reaching them, we've been rather unsuccessful at this point," he says.
The Canadian government is now residents to avoid all travel to 10 different countries, including the Virgin Islands. It is not yet known how long the advisories will be in place.
But travel agent Myranda Miller says she's still booking trips down south.
"The Carribean is very popular. Obviously the bulk of our business is going non-stop or direct from here during the winter months,” she says. "We're just waiting to see how long it will take to recover. Hopefully there are some destinations out there that weren't hit. We're just taking it one booking at a time."
Dan Cloutier says they would still like to spend this winter in the British Virgin Islands, but this time they want to go as relief workers.
"If we can do it this year, if we're allowed in early enough, we would like to go down and help with the rebuilding process or help the citizens get back on their feet," he says.
Until then, Cloutier says he’ll watch from afar, hoping for the best for friends and neighbours now dealing with devastation.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Allan April.