photo: Laura Bijnsdorp

PHILIPSBURG – On Wednesday morning people started appearing on the streets of St. Maarten again. Tropical Storm warning is still in effect for the area, it seems that St. Maarten has been spared any additional damage as most of the category 5 Hurricane Maria passed South of the island. While the sea is still rough, the weather slowly seems to be clearing up.

“Thankfully, we only experienced tropical storm winds and a bit of rain” says Andy Forbes, who works at a supermarket on St. Maarten.

“I didn’t sleep well, but that is just because the loose-flying debris Irma left behind was rattling in the wind”, adds resident. Ankie Zomer.

Article continues after the video

YouTube voorvertoningsafbeelding
By Laura Bijnsdorp

Curfew in effect till tomorrow
Although it has been announced that curfew officially remains in effect till Thursday, September 21 till 6am, quite a few cars are already seen on the road.

Forbes: “Although it seems calm enough now, I think that authorities want to make sure the streets are cleared before the curfew is lifted. This way they can also prevent any troublemakers on the island that are thinking about looting!”

Photo: Laura Bijnsdorp

Interconnected
Although St. Maarten was spared the worst of Maria’s force, many other islands such as Guadeloupe, Dominica, St. Croix and Puerto Rico were hit in full force. Some of these islands, such as Puerto Rico were used as a safe-haven by those affected by hurricane Irma, just two weeks ago.

Of the nine reported deaths so far, seven were in Dominica. “We are all closely connected to each other in the Caribbean. I have family in Dominica that I am still waiting to hear from.“ Andrea Leonor, a security guard, says in a worried tone.

Last storm of the season
“I am normally not scared of anything, but I pray to god that we do not get another hurricane!” Leonor states as she throws her hands up to the sky.

The Atlantic hurricane season occurs from June 1 to November 30, sharply peaking from late August through September. Residents are terrified of other possible hurricanes that could still form in the next couple of months.

Forbes: “Our island is very vulnerable at the moment. Many people have lost their roof, if not their entire home.”

Business owner Muriel Durkan: “If another hurricane comes our way I don’t know if my heart will be able to handle it.”