Chris and Evelyne Nye left their Maryland home 30 years ago for a life of paradise in St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Their daughter, Erika Field, left St. Thomas for college in Virginia, and she later settled down in Kensington, Maryland. However, when Hurricane Irma blew through the Virgin Islands, Field worried for the safety of her childhood home — and her parents, who she hadn’t heard from since the eye wall of the hurricane hit.Screenshot/WUSA 9
Field spoke to WUSA 9, saying:
“We’re used to hurricanes in the Virgin Islands. This is nothing like we’ve ever seen before. There are no words to describe the damage that has taken place in my hometown.”
She was able to Facetime her parents before the eye of the storm hit. She was the one to tell her parents that the worst was headed toward them, because, “no one was covering what was happening to the Virgin Islands.”
After the 185 mph winds swept through her hometown, Field worried about the fate of her parents.
The family lost contact for 23 long hours.Screenshot/WUSA 9
Field feared the worst. But then she recalled the miraculous moment when:
“I get a text message from a number I don’t have saved; it’s not a Virgin Islands area code either. It reads, ‘Hi Erika, your parents are fine, and the house is fine. This is the neighbor, Drew. Phone service is bad.'”
Although immensely relieved to hear from her parents — albeit indirectly — she was devastated after seeing pictures of her neighborhood looking like a “war zone.”Screenshot/WUSA 9
Field fears the mainland will forget the “thousands of American citizens” who have already survived Irma in the Caribbean — when it was still a Category 5 threat.
When she heard President Donald Trump address the Virgin Islands in his weekly address, Field was “moved [to] tears.” His acknowledgment of her hometown during this time of disaster comforted her, “knowing that he recognized our home as the first American landfall for this storm.”
Irma claimed four lives in the U.S. Virgin Islands, while more than 20 people died in the Caribbean region.
Field doesn’t want the U.S. to forget the suffering of those in the Caribbean. She questioned: “Is our suffering worth any less than those of Rockport or Corpus Christi? We are Americans, too.”