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St. Martin, Before and After Irma

Last September, Hurricane Irma left a trail of devastation across the Caribbean and mainland United States. With 185-mph winds stirring up 20-foot waves, the storm killed more than 100 people, left millions without power, and caused structural damage to buildings, roads, and infrastructure across the region.


St. Martin, the Caribbean island under both French and Dutch control, was one of the hardest hit by Irma. Six months after the storm shuttered its two airports, killed at least 14 people, and left the island with severe food and water shortages, the island is making a recovery. See the recovery in progress and drag the sliders for a view from September and a view from March, 2018.
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LIONEL CHAMOISEAU/AFP/Getty Images St. Martin, the Caribbean island under both French and Dutch control, was one of the hardest hit by Irma. Six months after the storm shuttered its two airports, killed at least 14 people, and left the island with severe food and water shortages, the island is making a recovery. See the recovery in progress and drag the sliders for a view from September and a view from March, 2018.
The island was largely uninhabitable after the hurricane struck. Now, streets that were once covered with debris from buildings ripped apart by the winds are clear for pedestrians and vehicles to travel safely.
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LIONEL CHAMOISEAU/AFP/Getty Images The island was largely uninhabitable after the hurricane struck. Now, streets that were once covered with debris from buildings ripped apart by the winds are clear for pedestrians and vehicles to travel safely.
The Dutch Red Cross said that <a href="http://www.businessinsider.com/ap-french-president-vows-help-for-irmas-damage-in-caribbean-2017-9"target="_blank">90 percent</a> of the buildings on the Dutch side of the island were damaged and a third were destroyed. Rebuilding has since begun to take shape.
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The Dutch Red Cross said that 90 percent of the buildings on the Dutch side of the island were damaged and a third were destroyed. Rebuilding has since begun to take shape.
Initially, the French and Dutch governments were both <a href="https://www.c-span.org/video/?433947-1/french-president-macron-visits-saint-martin"target="_blank">criticized</a> for their slow response to addressing the island’s 75,000 residents and the damage they faced. But the French government eventually established a plan to distribute drinking water, food, and first aid during the height of the crisis, and the Dutch government is now providing 550 million euros (about $634 million) for recovery.
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LIONEL CHAMOISEAU/AFP/Getty Images Initially, the French and Dutch governments were both criticized for their slow response to addressing the island’s 75,000 residents and the damage they faced. But the French government eventually established a plan to distribute drinking water, food, and first aid during the height of the crisis, and the Dutch government is now providing 550 million euros (about $634 million) for recovery.
Tourism accounts for about 85 percent of St. Martin's GDP, so the island is desperate for its hotel and restaurants to get up and running again. Now, <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/02/travel/st-martin-caribbean-hurricane-recovery.html"target="_blank">both airports are open</a>, with 60 flights a week coming in from 12 airlines and about a quarter of the previously available hotel rooms are ready for visitors.
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LIONEL CHAMOISEAU/AFP/Getty Images Tourism accounts for about 85 percent of St. Martin's GDP, so the island is desperate for its hotel and restaurants to get up and running again. Now, both airports are open, with 60 flights a week coming in from 12 airlines and about a quarter of the previously available hotel rooms are ready for visitors.