November 30this a day Valerie Nieberg won’t forget.
“Total relief. Glass of champagne or glass of wine maybe to celebrate,” Nieberg said.
That’s because it’s the end of hurricane season. A time Nieberg dreads after the 2017 hurricane season did damage to her St. Thomas home.
You may remember we caught up with Nieberg this past July when work was just beginning on her new roof and tropical rains were swooping in. All she wanted was a new roof over her head. Five months later, her wish is coming true.
“I have a roof!”
Two hurricane seasons later, Nieberg is finally getting some relief. It’s a similar story for much of the Island as recovery has been slow, but steady. FEMA tells CBS USVI more than $2 billion has gone to the Virgin Islands since the 2017 storms and more than $500 million in Small Business Administration loans.
“Recovery from last years’ hurricanes is a lot more than funding,” Eric Adams with FEMA said.
Adams said they plan to keep more than 200 workers here in the territory to continue long term recovery. He also wants to reassure Virgin Islanders that FEMA will continue to work with the Virgin Islands Government. The change in leadership will make no difference he added.
“Federal funding obligated for the Virgin Islands for its’ recovery from Hurricanes Irma and Maria will not be affected by a change in the governors office. FEMA will be here working long term with VITEMA with other federal partners and with the Governors office.”
Nieberg said it was with the help of FEMA and SBA loans that she was able to get a roof over her head. So she can continue her own journey to recovery. Now over one year later.
“I mean to get it all, all, all finished, probably 18 months- 2 years. But to get it reasonable a year. There is just so much to do still,” Nieberg said.
FEMA said even though hurricane season technically ends November 30th, it is important to stay vigilant all year round.