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River Creek Blog: Loudoun Couple in St. Thomas

Nick Wassum and his wife Kerrie returned to Loudoun County from their home in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands a week after Hurricane Irma struck the Island. They had endured the thrust of the hurricane and thanks to relatives, they were evacuated following the devastation that severely damaged their home and businesses. What little remained after their departure was destroyed at the hands of Hurricane Maria. They are staying with Nick’s Mother, Ginger Wassum in the River Creek Community for the time being trying to comprehend the frightful experience they had.

Nick said that when Irma struck the Island, “it looked like a bomb had gone off.” Kerrie described what they experienced at the peak of the hurricane. “Winds reached speeds of 205 miles per hour, generally 180 to 182 miles per hour.” She says there were tornadoes in the area. The wind was so strong that the walls of their condo shook. “It was terrifying, and it got worse.”

They moved to safer quarters at the nearby resort. But Nick says, “All the rooms were starting to flood because of all the rain.” The resort did have hurricane proof windows and doors but no shutters so they could look out and see the havoc that was being wreaked. At one point, an electrical box shot out a spark that caught the drapes on fire. Nick says he put it out with a fire extinguisher, but they had to leave the room because of the fumes. Kerrie sprained her ankle as they ran to the room next door that was flooded with two to three feet of water.

At present, they have taken on the task of raising emergency funds to provide assistance for some of their friends and staff who remain in St. Thomas. So far they have raised $7,000 on their site https://fundly.com/limetree-irma-relief/. Kerrie says, “We just don’t want the people there to be forgotten. They are all U.S. citizens.”

Nick described the beauty of the island and said it is very relaxing and friendly. meet someone just walking along the street.” They hope to return in the near future to salvage what may be left of their property.

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