News Release

NPS Incident Management Team Hurricane Update for the Caribbean Parks, Friday, October 6, 2017 – 6pm

Date: October 6, 2017
Contact: Rob Parrish, 917-509-4426

Incident information

Photos of Hurricanes Irma and Maria damage and response

San Juan, P.R. –The NPS Eastern Incident Management Team continued its efforts to assist national parks in the Caribbean with their recovery from Hurricanes Irma and Maria. The primary focus remains to supply the impacted parks, park employees, and their families with the resources and tools necessary to recover and return to normal operations. The team is temporarily based in the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Emergency Operations Center in San Juan.

All six national parks in the Caribbean remain closed.

Virgin Islands National Park, St. John – CLOSED

  • The superintendent of the Caribbean group of parks visited Virgin Islands NP to assess damages, see island operations, and check on employees.
  • Assessments of damage to natural and cultural resources are continuing.
  • A 100-passenger vessel provided by the FEMA National Response Coordination Center is expected to arrive on October 14. It will be used to provide shelter, food, water, and internet connectivity for park staff.
  • Work is underway to repair and clean park housing damaged by the hurricanes. Water quality at park employee housing is undergoing testing.
  • The St. John shelter septic system has been pumped.
  • Staff cleaned and arranged resource management biosphere site.
  • The road to Luawe House is being cleared.
  • Potable water has been secured from the Caneel Bay water filter plant.

Virgin Islands Coral Reef National Monument, St. John – CLOSED

Christiansted National Historic Site, St. Croix – CLOSED

  • Crews are clearing debris, hazard limbs and trees from park areas.
  • Generators and air conditioning units have been installed to protect park collections.
  • Damage to the housing area has been assessed and documented in order to proceed with cleanup of hazardous debris.
  • The Coastal Studies Outpost building and weather station has been secured.
  • Staff is exploring options for testing the cisterns at park housing.

Buck Island Reef National Monument, St. Croix – CLOSED

Salt River Bay National Historical Park and Ecological Preserve, St. Croix – CLOSED

San Juan National Historic Site, Puerto Rico – CLOSED

  • Park staff facilitated outreach support for La Perla, a small community located on park property and delivered FEMA food and water and coordinated with FEMA for tarps to be delivered to the community.
  • The park headquarters remains without power or communications. Work continues to restore power and communications to the park.
  • All of old town San Juan, including park headquarters at Castillo San Cristóbal, the community of La Perla (within the park’s boundary), and El Morro are now back on town water. The system, however, is still on backup generation.
  • Damage assessments continue for historic, cultural, and natural resources in the park, and for park facilities.
  • Floors 1 through 6 of El Morro have been cleared of debris and other hazards.
  • Work continued to clear debris and trash from drainage areas around the historic walls at Santa Elena and San Augustin to ensure the preservation of the walls and to maintain a safe environment.


Last updated: October 7, 2017

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