Christmas 2017 is just around the corner. This is the time that we prepare to bake our Christmas rum cakes, make our sorrel drinks, cook some curried goat and jerked chicken with all of the trimmings for Christmas dinner and invite family and friends to celebrate the reason for the season.
But how can we celebrate without remembering that a sense of normalcy has not yet returned to our Caribbean brothers and sisters who were recently ravaged by two hurricanes?
Caribbean Currents: Islands still struggling after devastating storms
To the people of the hurricane-ravaged Caribbean islands who are still struggling to return to normalcy: St. Kitts & Nevis, Dominica, Antigua and Barbuda as well as Puerto Rico, we dedicate the words of an old spiritual written by Charles A. Tinley, titled “The Storm is Passing Over:”
“Courage my soul and let us journey on. For tho the night is dark, it won’t be very long. O Thanks be to God, the morning light appears and the storm is passing over, Hallelujah!”
Irma, now Maria: US Caribbean communities rush to send aid
NEW YORK (AP) — From parties where the price of admission is a donation, to fundraising drives and online wish lists for collecting needed supplies, West Indian communities around the United States are stepping up to get help for the islands of the Caribbean ravaged by the wind and waters of hurricanes Irma and Maria, including those in places in the southern United States that were hit hard themselves.
US Caribbean communities stepping up for Irma-hit region
NEW YORK (AP) — From parties where the price of admission is a donation, to fundraising drives and online wish lists for collecting needed supplies, West Indian communities around the United States are stepping up to get help for the islands of the Caribbean ravaged by the wind and water of Hurricane Irma, including those in places in the southern United States that were hit hard themselves.
Strengthening Hurricane Maria a threat to Irma-hit Caribbean
SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic (AP) — The islands of the eastern Caribbean prepared Sunday to face another potential disaster, with forecasters saying newly formed and strengthening Hurricane Maria was headed for a hit on the Leeward Islands by Monday night.
Hurricane or tropical storm warnings were posted for many of the islands, including those already coping with the devastation caused by Hurricane Irma, such as St. Barts and Antigua and Barbuda.
A look at the damage from Hurricane Irma in the Caribbean
A look at the impact of Hurricane Irma on individual countries and territories in the Caribbean as of Saturday:
Irma’s victims in the Caribbean brace for another hurricane
ST. JOHN'S, Antigua (AP) — Thousands of Irma victims across the Caribbean fought desperately to find shelter or escape their storm-blasted islands altogether Friday as another hurricane following close behind threatened to add to their misery.
Irma regained Category 5 status late Friday, and with its 160 mph (260 kph) winds battering Cuba and taking aim at the Miami metropolitan area of 6 million people, the death toll in the storm's wake across the Caribbean climbed to 22.
The Latest: Hurricane warnings issued for South Florida
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — The Latest on Hurricane Irma (all times local):
The National Hurricane Center in Miami has issued hurricane warnings for South Florida and the Keys.
Forecasters on Thursday night issued a warning for a sizeable segment of Florida, including the Miami metro area and Lake Okeechobee, as Category 5 Hurricane Irma tracks toward the state with 165 mph (270kph) winds.
A storm surge has also been issued for the same area.
Nations rush to help islands devastated by Hurricane Irma
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — French, British and Dutch military authorities rushed aid to a devastated string of Caribbean islands Thursday after Hurricane Irma left at least 11 people dead and thousands homeless as it spun toward Florida for what could be a catastrophic blow this weekend.
A look at the damage from Hurricane Irma in the Caribbean
A look at the impact of Hurricane Irma on individual countries and territories as it tears across the Caribbean:
One death was reported in the British territory of Anguilla, which also suffered extensive damage to the airport, hospitals and shelters. Ninety percent of the roads are impassible, according to the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency. The United Kingdom said Irma inflicted "severe and in places critical" damage to the territory.
The Latest: Puerto Ricans lose power; Barbuda devastated
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — The latest on Hurricane Irma (all times local):
Hurricane Irma is hitting Puerto Rico with heavy rain and powerful winds, and authorities say more than 900,000 people are without power.
Puerto Rico's emergency management agency says more than half the island was without power and nearly 50,000 without water in the U.S. territory.
Authorities in the Caribbean are struggling to get aid to small islands already pounded by the historic storm earlier Wednesday.
Irma lashes at Puerto Rico, leaves tiny Barbuda devastated
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Hurricane Irma lashed Puerto Rico with heavy rain and powerful winds late Wednesday, leaving nearly 900,000 people without power as authorities struggled to get aid to small Caribbean islands already devastated by the historic storm.
Florida rushed to prepare for a possible direct hit on the Miami area by the Category 5 storm with potentially catastrophic 185 mph winds.
Powerful Hurricane Irma bears down on Caribbean islands
ST. JOHN'S, Antigua (AP) — The most powerful Atlantic Ocean hurricane in recorded history bore down on the islands of the northeast Caribbean late Tuesday, following a path predicted to then rake Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Haiti and Cuba before possibly heading for Florida over the weekend.
WHAT’S HAPPENING: Irma eyes Antigua and perhaps the US
MIAMI (AP) — From Puerto Rico to Florida, people are keeping a close eye on Hurricane Irma, a monster storm that threatens to plow through the Caribbean and perhaps deliver a devastating blow to the U.S.
People are preparing for the strongest Atlantic hurricane since Rita in 2005, and one that comes on the heels of Harvey ravaging Texas less than two weeks ago.
Hurricane Irma strengthens to a Category 4 storm
MIAMI (AP) — Hurricane Irma has strengthened into a Category 4 storm as it approaches the northeast Caribbean.
The storm's center is 410 miles (660 kilometers) east of the Leeward Islands late Monday afternoon. It has maximum sustained winds of 140 mph (220 kph) and is moving west at 13 mph (20 kph).
The Latest: Hurricane Irma now Cat 4 heading for Caribbean
Caribbean islands begin preparations for Hurricane Irma
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Islands at the eastern end of the Caribbean Sea made preparations Sunday for approaching Hurricane Irma, a Category 3 storm that could threaten the area beginning Tuesday.
Hurricane watches were posted for Antigua and Barbuda, Anguilla, Monserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Martin, Guadeloupe and the British Virgin Islands.
Prince Harry cleans fish during official visit to Barbuda
CODRINGTON, Barbuda (AP) — Prince Harry showed off his fish-cleaning skills during a visit to the Caribbean island of Barbuda as part of a 14-day tour of the region.
The prince helped agricultural science students at their request during a high school tour Tuesday. He also visited a primary school where he was serenaded by a steel band and a choir that sang traditional folk songs.
Prince Harry plays some cricket, volleyball on Antigua visit
ST. JOHN'S, Antigua (AP) — Britain's Prince Harry spent the morning playing some cricket, tennis and volleyball while meeting with several sports teams on his first full day on the Caribbean island of Antigua.
After a break for lunch Monday, Harry joined Antigua's governor general, Sir Rodney Williams, to present honors to a retired nurse, and then he learned about local charities as he started a 14-day tour of the region.
Prince Harry lands in Antigua to launch Caribbean trip
ST JOHN'S, Antigua and Barbuda (AP) — Britain's Prince Harry has launched a 14-day Caribbean tour, arriving at his first stop in Antigua aboard a commercial flight Sunday.
The prince is visiting the Caribbean representing Queen Elizabeth II in the year of her 90th birthday. The year also marks the 35th anniversary of independence for Antigua and Barbuda and the 50th anniversary for Barbados and for Guyana.