Richard Branson Details 'Traumatic' Experience Riding Out Hurricane Irma
“I have never seen anything like this hurricane."
On Wednesday, Sir Richard Branson announced that he would ride out Hurricane Irma alongside his staff on his private island in the Caribbean.
In a blog post Branson described the feeling on Necker Island just before Irma hit as “eerie but beautiful.” He noted that the entire staff on Necker was “willing the eye of the storm to veer away from the BVI in these last few hours.”
Unfortunately for the staff, they had no such luck and the island took a direct hit from the category five storm.
In an update published Friday, Branson wrote: “It is a traumatic time here in the British Virgin Islands. Hurricane Irma is continuing a path of destruction that brought the eye of the storm to Necker Island, Moskito Island, and the whole surrounding area.”
Branson said the entire Necker and Moskito team who remained on the island during the storm made it out safe and sound. “We took shelter from the strongest hurricane ever inside the concrete cellar on Necker and very, very fortunately it held firm,” he added.
And while Branson previously wrote that he believed the buildings on his island would remain solid, unfortunately this too did not come to fruition.
“I have never seen anything like this hurricane. Necker and the whole area have been completely and utterly devastated. We are still assessing the damage, but whole houses and trees have disappeared,” he wrote.
But still, even through the devastation Branson explained that he felt lucky to be safe and instead of dwelling on his own personal loss is spending his time loading up Virgin Atlantic planes with “essential items to help the recovery effort,” including blankets and bottled water.
Moreover, Branson announced that Virgin Unite has made a donation to the British Red Cross to support the hurricane relief efforts. He urged everyone to donate to the British Red Cross through Virgin Money Giving as well.
“I know we are fortunate here on Necker and Moskito,” he wrote. “Our wonderful team are fine. I know we will all band together and rebuild the islands to become stronger and even more wonderful than they were before.”