pups explore thier new reality
Jane and Brian on foot after road washed out...this was a road
view looking down from Conrad property, no leaves, half the buildings not standing.
guest house bathroom gone
deck collapsing parts of roof missing
windows of thier vehicles broken
dowstairs walls gone
Thank you for visiting this GofundMe, your caring feelings uplift our spirits that of the entire island community. It is extremely uncomfortable asking for this kind of help for us. Being self-sufficient is a trait ingrained in our character since birth through our parents Dee and Tom Conrad. They have always been the most independent people we know, but they’re now at a place where they need support. Still, this post does not sit well with any of the Conrad clan, but the need is truly substantial. At 68 and 75 years of age, Dee and Tom are for the first time beyond the physical capability to rebuild their own home without some help. Yesterday I was finally able to speak with Jane for the first time since Hurricane Maria battered St. John. The second Category 5 added insult to injury when it plowed through the Virgin Islands only two short weeks after Irma’s catastrophic eye smashed Coral Bay. After witnessing the unthinkable damage our parents’ home sustained, Jane concluded that without the help of our friends and family, the home would never be repaired. This is the home I grew up in, the house my dad built by hand, the place my parents cherished for retirement.
Irma left the Conrad home open to the elements when 185 mile an hour sustained winds blew the front wall out. Gusts of 200 mph flushed out the interior leaving little behind. The pressure popped the walls out 8 inches on either side and the roof remains but just barely in place. The exterior paneling has been pick off piece by piece leaving the south side of the house exposed. Power has been off for the two weeks following Irma and might not be restored for months. Propane refrigeration is needed as well as building supplies and windows/doors to get started. Eventually we’ll need basic furnishing but for now just keeping the rain and wind out is the priority. Communication is limited along with fuel and supplies so the rebuilding process will be tedious.
Our stateside friends have asked why Tom and Dee would stay on St. John at such an elderly age after all this destruction. This is our home; Mom and Dad sailed off during their honeymoon and fell in love with St. John and its community in the early 80s. While they continued to cruise down-island, St. John is always where they knew they’d have their children and set down roots. The Conrad’s have been on St. John through countless hurricanes including Hugo and Marilyn, which both had devastating impacts, but always stayed to rebuild the community and our home.
Dad would not be a fan of this post, but St. John is their home. Disaster or not, they love it here. They have raised their kids there and want to stay. Jane and I just want to make sure their home is still structurally safe to live in. Even after all of this Tom and Dee remain positive, they can't afford to think any other way. They’ve been throwing up plywood and putting a few screws in beams just to hold what’s left of our home together. We know that it will take much more. There is no insurance to speak of, the comeback of this home will be strictly out of pocket which is a foreign concept for most stateside.
We don’t yet know the total cost of the repair, nor getting Dee and Tom back on their feet. Anything will help though; no amount is too little. The journey back to a normal life will be a gargantuan expedition with many unfamiliar obstacles.
I have personally been blown away by the thoughts, prayers, and positive vibes our immense assembly of friends and family expressed. I pass along these many encouraging sentiments to my island family with every chance that I get. So many of you have offered to help, and that means so much to our family. With postal service down and communication limited it has been impossible for me to advise anyone on the best way to do that. I pledge to you that every penny from this GoFundMe will go to rebuilding what we have lost during these unprecedented storms. Thank you for your continued care, it means so much to all of us!
1.) I am Carrie Conrad from St. John USVI
2.) I am the daughter of Tom and Dee Conrad for whom this fund benefits
3.) the donations will go towards wood, building materials, windows, doors, furniture, and appliances.
4.) funds will be withdrawn and directly deposited into a building bank account for the Conrads.
DonationsSee top donations
- Cate Mckinney
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