St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands – New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo was escorted by U.S. Virgin Islands Governor Kenneth E. Mapp on a tour of hurricane-ravaged areas of St. Thomas on Friday, September 15.
At a news conference afterward, Governor Cuomo announced that his state is providing support with 100 National Guard Troops, 30 State Troopers, humvees and a vehicle called a “gator”, which can access areas difficult to reach.
Governor Mapp was especially grateful for Governor Cuomo’s pledge of administrative assistance in navigating the local and federal bureaucracies involved with disaster relief accounting and other procedures.
New York has the experience in such matters, Governor Mapp noted, given its recovery from Hurricane Sandy. Governor Cuomo pledged that his government will help in any way it can. He said that, based on his own experience, Governor Mapp is doing everything right.
The New York Governor said he was shocked that there were not more fatalities caused by Hurricane Irma after seeing the damages. Media coverage on the mainland, he stated, has not communicated the true extent of the destruction. He said he felt “the strength and resilience of the people” during his tour, adding that, “when things are at their worst, people are at their best.”
Governor Mapp stated that Governor Cuomo’s presence in the Territory not only demonstrates the support of New York, but also helps get the word out everywhere that the U.S. Virgin Islands needs America’s help.