A new challenge looms for British Virgin Islands: how to clean up hurricane mess

With the economy wrecked and tourist season approaching, dealing with washed-up boats, cars and thousands of tonnes of storm debris is an urgent priority.

How the Midway Bar came to be destroyed is not in doubt: a 42ft sailing catamaran hangs 10ft above the former bar-room, still wedged in the ruins more than two months after Hurricane Irma made landfall in the British Virgin Islands (BVI).

But how it will ever be restored remains unclear: the Sundowner is just one of hundreds of wrecked boats still littered across the island – tossed ashore, dumped on the seabed or torn to pieces by Irma and its sister storm Maria.

“Irma destroyed me,” said the bar’s owner, Ecedro Thomas as he surveyed the devastation. “Thirty-two years this bar stood here. I’d have it rebuilt already if they’d just move this damn catamaran.” Read more...