Along the coastline of Marigot, the nerve center of the economy on the French side, the storm toppled restaurants, shops, banks and open-air markets, leaving them desolate, practically abandoned in the midday heat.
For many, though, the future is confined to making it through the day. The government on the French side has reported an official death toll of 11, but an assessment of the full extent of the islandwide destruction may be weeks or months away.
“We have the chance to start back from zero,” said Daniel Gibbs, president of the local government on the French side of St. To many residents, including some doctors working in the emergency room on the French side, the death toll seems much too low.
“I love my country, but I hate that people did this,” she said.
Still, having peered over the precipice of natural catastrophe and social disorder, others have found reasons to be hopeful.
Now, more than a week after the hurricane, a delicate order has been restored, for the most part.
But there is still almost no fuel or electricity, and food delivery, for now, remains erratic.
Around him were the splintered remnants of his restaurant and bakery.
The sea, an inviting cerulean once again, offered a cruel contrast to the chaotic mess where he sat, alone and facing economic ruin. Thibaud, 48, adjusting the motorcycle gloves he was wearing to clear debris.
The children cannot afford to miss school, she said, especially Emeline, a high school senior who is meant to graduate this year. A bus came past to collect the children for their flight. But her residency permit expired two years ago, meaning that she cannot leave the island on one of the flights chartered for evacuees.
Her two girls and little boy will stay with family on the French island of Guadeloupe, a little less than an hour away by plane. And she cannot send the boy alone — there is no family in Guadeloupe to care for him, and she does not have the money to place him with one. The island’s physical scars — hillsides robbed of their lush greenery, disemboweled homes stacked on the roadside — are a constant reminder of all that has been lost, and the unrecognizable transformation the island endured in just a few hours of Irma’s fury.
A soldier rushed to comfort the woman while her daughter broke into tears, fighting with the attendant to keep her mother’s bag, a final indignity in a world stripped of its moorings. Martin, one of the Caribbean islands hit hardest by Hurricane Irma.