Hey friends. I wanted to share an update on the White Sands Inn and Sunrise Beach House. Rachel and Janice found out residents were allowed back in the lower part of the Keys last night. A friend and fellow neighbor traveled down there and was able to see the full extent of the damage to the Inn and Beach House. Today they received photos that showed damage is as bad as they thought, if not worse. In addition to the first floor of the hotel being completely destroyed down to the the studs, the Sunrise Beach House is in very bad shape - the roof liner is gone and there is extensive damage to all of the interior (and everything that was in it) from the storm surge. Also Rachel's car and the boat were moved and damaged by the storm surge. And as we suspected the pool is filled with sand and debris. Many people continue to ask how they can help. What they need right now is money to start the clean up. They appreciate any donation you can give. We will post more updates as we have them. And as always, thanks for your help and please continue to spread the word.
ORIGINAL POST 9.13.17:
Hi Family and Friends of White Sands Inn, Sunrise Beach House, Rachel Price and Janice Stephens:
As many of you know, the paradise many of us know as the White Sands Inn and the Sunrise Beach House has been devastated by mother nature. With hurricane Irma's direct hit on Grassy Key, there was major destruction. Thankfully Rachel and Janice evacuated to the Northern Kentucky area safely just prior to the storm.
We aren't sure when Janice and Rachel will be allowed to return home to Grassy Key to fully survey the damage, but some details and pictures of the devastation have started trickling in. We can confirm there is significant damage to the White Sands Inn and Sunrise Beach House from what we can see from the few pictures.
You can see some of the damage in the pictures (and we've included some before pictures to compare them with).
Hotel Before and After
Dock Before and After
Pool & Patio Before and After
Office Before and After
Other After Images
Also, at this point, Rachel does not have any information on how bad the home she lives in was affected. But based on past storms, it will likely be significant too. She is expecting many of her personal belongings that were in her home and didn't fit in the evacuation car will be missing or damaged when she returns. As more is learned, especially once Rachel and Janice can return home to Grassy Key, we will continue to post updates and pictures.
The only thing for sure right now is that the recovery from this storm is going to take a long time and a lot of effort! We hope visitors can return to Grassy Key again soon, but right now it almost seems impossible. But one thing we know is that Rachel and Janice, with all of our help, will persevere and rebuild to once again allow many of you to return to paradise to celebrate with family and friends on the beach.
Many people have asked how they can help and if there is any way to provide support in this very difficult time. The answer is yes!
Insurance may cover the parts of building itself and some of the interior furnishings, but note that insurance does not provide as much coverage as one would expect in these situations. There will be many, many, many items that will have to be replaced or repaired that insurance or governmental aid won't cover. These things include many small items in the buildings anything outside the main buildings, everything from:
-removal of all the debris around the property that can't be salvaged
-the office and its furnishings
-the storage sheds and the tools and materials they housed
-the pool, including removing all the debris, replacing the pump system, repairing the lining and tile, the pavers around the pool, the fence around the pool, and much more…
-replacement of the white sand around the inn and on the beach
-replacement of the parking lot
-clean up and replacement of trees, landscaping, and grass (wind blew them away or salt water likely killed them)
-replacement of fences, property walls, and signs
-and the list goes on and on….
Most of these items will require money to buy materials and equipment or pay contractors to replace or repair items. Further, without rooms for guests to rent, there will be no income to pay mortgages, pay for living expenses, or even food. As a result, we've set up this page for everyone who would like to help.
Donations of any size are appreciated! There is no donation too small…..and certainly none too big! Please give as you can.
Help Spread the Word! Send this link to anyone you think would be willing to help. Whether you are a routine visitor to the White Sands Inn and Sunrise Beach House, have been there once, or have never been but would like to help, they need all the help and support we can gather!
Also, if you haven't seen it, many of you may like to hear Rachel's voice and see her. She was contacted and interviewed by NPR radio and Cincinnati's NBC news affiliate (WLWT) about her experience dealing with the devastation so far. You can listen and watch at the two following links:
NPR Radio Interview
WLWT - NBC Cincinnati News Affiliate - TV Interview
Thanks for the support from each of you! We know Rachel and Janice greatly appreciate it and look forward to talking to everyone in the near future along this path of recovery and afterwards!
Let's all help them in this time of tragedy!
~This page was set up by Brian and Emily Veeneman. Janice is Brian's aunt and Rachel is his cousin. Brian and Emily live in Janice and Rachel's home state, Kentucky.
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