US Virgin Islands Hotel & Tourism Association

On Nov. 5, Gov. Kenneth E. Mapp led a delegation of representatives from the United States Congress on a tour of severely damaged areas throughout St. Thomas, including the Tutu High Rise housing projects and Roy L. Schneider Hospital.

“It is so critical that Congress sees firsthand the challenges we face in rebuilding our infrastructure,” Mapp said. “I am truly grateful to the United States Senators for making this visit and believe they left with a more complete understanding of our needs.”

Joining Mapp on the tour were Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-Louisiana), Sen. Tom Carper (D-Delaware), Sen. Al Franken (D-Minnesota), Sen. Kamala Harris (D-California), Rep. Bill Shuster (R-Pennsylvania), Rep. Garret Graves (R-Louisiana), Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Oregon), Resident Commissioner of Puerto Rico Jenniffer González-Colón, and Isaac Edwards, Senior Counsel, Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

The governor will testify next week before Senate and House committees, including the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, of which Murkowski is chair, regarding additional funding to rebuild the U.S. Virgin Islands. The cost for complete recovery has been estimated at $5.5 billion.

While viewing storm-damaged portions of the island, Mapp answered questions about the territory’s recovery, and explained his vision for building a better, more resilient U.S. Virgin Islands in the wake of September’s back-to-back hurricanes.

The governor also discussed details of recovery plans, including building smaller, more efficient hospitals to replace the existing buildings.