ST CROIX, USVI — US Vice President Mike Pence said, on his visit to the US Virgin Islands, that the White House is committed to assisting in rebuilding the US territory “bigger and better” in the wake of two devastating hurricanes.
Governor Kenneth Mapp welcomed Pence, his wife, Karen, and other Cabinet members, including Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, to St Croix prior to an official briefing at the Henry E. Rohlsen Airport.
The governor, Congresswoman Stacey Plaskett, representatives of the Federal Emergency Management Agency and other federal officials updated the vice president on the territory’s recovery efforts.
Following the briefing and two stops on St Croix, the governor joined the vice president for a helicopter tour of the damage caused by Hurricanes Irma and Maria.
Mapp said the vice president paid close attention to the damage he saw on the ground.“I was very gratified by the level of interest he took,” the governor said.
Pence said he was very impressed by the efforts of the governor and his team and by the resiliency and “can do” attitude of Virgin Islanders.
“We want to thank you for your leadership and the leadership of your entire team,” Pence told the governor.
“I can’t say enough to thank you, to thank our President, and all our federal partners,” he said to Pence.
Mapp said the assistance of the federal government has made it possible for schools to plan reopening and the private sector to begin to get back on its feet just two weeks after Hurricane Maria and 30 days after Hurricane Irma.
“We have problems – we have folks without roofs, we have folks still in the elements – but we have made significant progress,” Mapp said.