As the Earth Changes..
CRUZ BAY, U.S. Virgin Islands — The Asolare restaurant is gone, practically blown off its cliff, along with its world-famous carrot ginger soup. The facade of Margarita Phil’s is a junkyard of yellow and vermilion planks. Multimillion-dollar homes and aluminum huts alike lie in ruins.
On the island of St. John, that was only Irma’s beginning. Once a lush gem in the U.S. Virgin Islands, a chain steeped in the lore of pirates and killer storms, this 20-square-mile island is now perhaps the site of Irma’s worst devastation on American soil.
Six days after the storm — some say several days too late — the island finally has an active-theater disaster zone. Military helicopters buzz overhead and a Navy aircraft carrier is anchored off the coast, as the National Guard patrols the streets.