This time, September 2017, Anguilla was literally a mess. Hurricane Irma, probably the most catastrophic 5-category storm in the Caribbean – though only really striking a few islands – had left Anguilla in ruins. It destroyed or otherwise compromised several public sector structures, particularly education and health facilities.
In addition to the primary schools, and the Albena Lake-Hodge Comprehensive School, other buildings severely damaged included: the Princess Alexandra Hospital; the Blowing Point Passenger Terminal; the Anguilla House of Assembly adjoining the Magistrate’s Court and the High Court; the Department of Infrastructure buildings; the Secretariat building housing the Ministry of Home Affairs and Education; and the Control Tower at the Clayton J. Lloyd Internal Airport.
The damage was so severe at the Comprehensive School that eight classroom buildings had to be demolished – leaving the school’s compound a ghost town. The Morris Vanterpool Primary School at East End, several classroom buildings at The Valley Primary School and the Adrian T. Hazell Primary School as well as the Auditorium there were also demolished as a result of the hurricane damage.
In the private sector, various private homes and other buildings, including some of the hotels, villas and guesthouses suffered varying degrees of damage.
Anguilla experienced one of its biggest setbacks in recent times, plunging the economy and the tourist industry in a state of forced recession.