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St. Martin Struggles To Recover After Irma Wreaked Havoc In The Caribbean

Melissa Gumbs' flag survived Hurricane Irma and now hangs from a tree amid the storm debris.
Melissa Gumbs' flag survived Hurricane Irma and now hangs from a tree amid the storm debris.

After Hurricane Irma hit St. Martin last week, Melissa Gumbs was in her yard surveying the damage and trying to figure out how to start cleaning up. Then, underneath the debris, she and her neighbor spotted her flag, which was completely undamaged by the storm. Her neighbor hung it on the tree.

"For me, it's basically just a motivation [for] how we have to keep pushing to rebuild in the post-Irma world," Gumbs tells NPR's Ari Shapiro.

Gumbs, who works for the telecom provider UTS, says while damage to the island was catastrophic, a community mindset has emerged in the last few days, with neighbors providing for neighbors.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.