Virgin Islands NP vegetation will largely recover, USNPS official says, but damage is extensive

There was Betsy and Donna, Hugo and Lenny, as well as Omar and Earl and many other hurricanes before Irma made a direct hit on St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands, and after each, the rebuilding got under way. It's no different today at Virgin Islands National Park, which occupies more than half of the 20-square-mile island. And it won't happen overnight.

NASA photographs depicted the devastation wrought by Hurricane Irma, a monster of a storm with 185 mph winds, in monotone. The "before" shot of St. John showed a green, verdant island. The "after" shot was of a brown mound in the Caribbean.

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