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Come on down, people!
You have something a lot of folks dream about.
In 2016, the Island Parish series celebrated
the close church community and relaxed way of life
on the Caribbean island of Anguilla.
Help us, Father, to build on the successes of the past.
That our island home will grow from strength to strength.
Colonised by English settlers in the 17th century...
Three cheers for Her Majesty the Queen.
Hip, hip, hip, hooray!
..the Caribbean island is now one of 14 British Overseas Territories,
with its own government and the Queen as its head of state.
This is the epitome of paradise.
You know, I wouldn't want to be anywhere else!
But this paradise is also fragile.
We have been monitoring a storm that's in the Atlantic at this time.
We're still looking at a category three,
it might even go to maybe a cat four.
When one of the most powerful hurricanes in recorded history
bore down on the Caribbean last September,
Anguilla was right in its path.
We must prepare for the worst and pray for the best.
The eastern Caribbean islands were first in line for a battering.
This is an eminent disaster.
Hurricane Irma is a terrifying force of nature.
May God bless all of you and may God bless Anguilla.
By the time Hurricane Irma had carved its path of destruction
across the Caribbean,
it had left around £7 billion of damage
and at least 38 people dead.
Whole communities were destroyed.
We're running low on water, so that's a little bit frightening.
Cut off from the outside world in the days that followed the storm,
a shortage of essential supplies tested Anguilla's community spirit
to the limit.
People have been here since morning trying to get gas,
and everyone is irritable.
It's a very, very stressful situation for everybody.
The British government showed it wouldn't forget the island
at the time of its greatest need.
-The UK is here, the UK is here to support.
This is an overseas territory, these are British people.
A month after Irma, our cameras returned to discover
how this island parish stayed strong in the wake of the storm.
For the 15,000 people who live in Anguilla,
hurricanes are nothing new.
But few of them had ever experienced anything like Irma.
The noise you heard from the bedroom was terrible,
but there were so many houses where the roofs had come down.
A month on from Irma, and only 6% of the island has power,
hundreds of Anguillans still queue for food and basic supplies.
Life is tough, but most islanders are just grateful to still be alive.
By midnight, the winds really started to get gushing,
and as the time go along, it kept coming up more and more,
but when the hurricane really hit, it had to be a minimum of 230.
That's what I averaged it to.
Sheltering from the hurricane in his home and restaurant is an experience
that Edgar Richardson will never forget.
I was in the corner there.
When the roof were coming down,
I went on my knees and then I make my escape.
We lose everything.
It hits you once in a while,
but you've got to still thank God for what's happened.
Even in the face of all the destruction and loss,
Anguillans are finding strength in their deep and unerring faith.
High winds and torrential rains are testing the damaged church roof
where Father Hodge is holding the Sunday service.
A reminder of the trauma his parish has just endured.
We have all been through a terrible hurricane recently.
Many have suffered unspeakable loss.
But amidst it all, we are still required and expected
to hold on to our faith in the goodness of God.
As well as giving spiritual guidance,
churches have been handing out water to their congregations.
Without power, most taps on the island have run dry.
That's made drinking, washing, and flushing a major struggle
for parishioners like Dr Linda Banks.
With the electricity being off, we had to go back
to the old traditional ways of dipping water,
filling up a bucket and taking it to the bathroom.
We all have cisterns under our homes.
When the hurricane came, they had to turn the electricity off.
There was no means of pumping the water to the taps
which go to the house. When that went, we were back
to the bucket bath.
Have you been receiving any help from the Red Cross
or from anybody at all?
I get from our church.
Oh, you got from the church, very good, very good.
Take care and God bless you, all right?
Without power, many Anguillans have become isolated, making
Father Hodge's job of visiting the elderly and the vulnerable
all the more vital.
I try to get out into the community as much as I possibly can.
When I get in touch with people, I try to encourage them
as much as they can to keep the faith and keep on holding on.
Look at the damage here, the roof is gone.
All the way here, you can see the roofs are all ripped off.
That house is blown to pieces altogether.
A merciless hurricane it was.
Never seen anything like that here before.
Alfredo, como estas?
-Bien, gracias, si.
You moved out before the hurricane actually started?
-Yeah, yeah, yeah.
It's a good thing you did, otherwise you would have been
in lots of trouble.
All your stuff is gone.
All the stuff, I don't see the fridge up to now.
Oh. You haven't seen the fridge yet?
No, I don't see the fridge yet.
And you do sewing, you say?
Yeah, yeah, it's my original profession.
-As a tailor?
-Where is the machine?
The rest of them are mashed up, but let me show you.
Alfredo has lost more than just a home.
He's lost his sewing machine...
-Oh, I see, yeah.
And it was electrical?
-Yeah, yeah, yeah.
All over Anguilla,
islanders are still counting the true cost of the hurricane.
Oh, wow. The coconut trees mashed up bad, bad.
Bad, yeah. Everything mashed up.
Simone Connor and her father, Neville, run and own
one of Anguilla's best-known attractions.
So, right now, we're going to what's left of Sandy Island.
We operated a restaurant there, we hosted weddings there.
She was special to us, special to our family.
For Neville and Simone, creating a successful resort
on this beautiful but desolate sandbank has been
a labour of love.
Taking decades of hard work and perseverance against the elements.
The storm blew and washed the sandbank away entirely.
Slowly but surely, it's been building itself back up again.
That's what's left of Sandy Island,
we're looking at what's left of Sandy Island.
Got to try and make the best of it.
It's sad, but what to do?
Day-to-day, you never know where you're going to go,
you never know what's going to happen.
But the challenge is to make do with what you have...
..and to go forward in faith.
Look at this.
Yeah. Oh, wow.
Ah, maybe it was in the bathroom... No.
No, the bathroom wasn't there.
A friend of mine, he said, "Oh, Simone, I was looking
"through my window and for a moment there was some clear
"and then a gush of wind came, and I just saw the trees just going,
"the wind was just taking them, and all of a sudden,
"I saw the main roof," cos the roof was huge,
you could see it from the mainland.
He said the whole roof went in one quick gust...
..out to sea.
25 years, 30 years - in five minutes, gone.
Just like that.
It's like somebody just...
You wouldn't know. To express how I feel, you have to be there,
feel it and know it. Not easy.
..she gave us a clean slate.
She said, "It's time to do something fresh,
"time to do something different,"
and we're going to heed, we're going to take heed.
We're going to obey.
When Mother Nature speaks...
we're going to obey.
We're going to rebuild.
It's still hurricane season in the Caribbean -
the time when most Anguillans take stock and prepare
for the up-and-coming holiday season.
Tourism provides over half of Anguilla's income.
And although the market has slumped, after the global financial crisis,
before Irma an increase in visitor numbers had given islanders hope
of a bumper year.
Most holiday-makers have now cancelled their reservations
after scenes of devastation were broadcast around the world.
Few hotels are in a fit state to accommodate them anyway.
Our main building, we lost the roof, you can see.
Everything inside of those rooms are gone.
Will Fleming's popular beach-side hotel took the brunt
of Hurricane Irma's force.
When I was in high school, my father started building this property,
and he came to me with his plan and said, "The carpenter is
"charging me 80 a board foot."
He said, "You can do it cheaper."
So I spent the next couple of months with a jigsaw,
cutting these things out for the entire property,
every day after school.
That was my work right here.
The busy and lucrative Christmas holiday season is fast approaching.
Without an insurance pay-out, Will has set his staff to work.
If you look across, you see Don tapping out with the construction,
he's actually one of my bartenders, and over here is Lauren,
who is trying to repair the pool pump.
He is our accountant.
We are jack-of-all-trades and master of none!
But all their efforts could yet be in vain.
These are going to have to be changed as well.
The plywood is peeling.
The hotels are doing everything they can to get ready,
but the destination also have to be ready as well.
So, the ports, electricity, the infrastructure itself
should be cleaned up and ready to receive tourists.
Anguilla itself have to be ready, not just the hotels.
4,000 islanders work directly in tourism.
The future employment of at least half of them is now uncertain.
Hoping to save as many jobs as he can
is Anguilla's new British governor, Tim Foy.
Down here's probably the part of the island that took the worst
of the damage, because the eye went...
Oh, tortoise. Here we go.
Tim arrived on the island just two weeks before Irma.
He's making good progress.
He still getting used to the island's quirks.
I wish I had one of those badges at the back,
"I always stop for tortoises."
With Deputy Governor Perin Bradley, Tim has come to Blowing Point -
the port for ferries to and from Anguilla's
larger neighbour, Saint Martin, a 20-minute boat journey away.
So this was the Blowing Point terminal.
And, essentially, it just needed to get flattened.
Britain has already pledged over £62 million
to the Caribbean relief effort.
Tim has to direct limited resources to help get
Anguilla's shattered tourism industry back up and running.
Probably 80% of Anguilla's tourists actually come in via Saint Martin,
the airport on Saint Martin.
So being able to get people from that side to this is crucial,
because it is the main artery for passenger transport in and out
of the island.
It's not exactly the holiday rush, but in post hurricane Anguilla...
-..every visitor is precious revenue.
This is great because this is business.
Anguilla is also an exclusive holiday destination
for the super-rich,
many of whom arrive by helicopter or private jet
at the island's small airports.
Itself badly damaged and in parts beyond repair.
This was the tower. As you can see, we lost glasses...
..all the equipment has been pretty much written off.
Everything's pretty much dead in here.
Head of the airport, Al Barnett came to the job
just over a year ago.
I think it's in this bay. Yes, you see that container there, that tank?
That was thrown close to a mile.
Known to his team as Mr B,
he was given the task of modernising the airport.
But Irma had other ideas.
This has sort of become the boneyard now, I think.
There were two aircraft that were both in for engine work, so they
couldn't fly them out of here. They tied them down to there.
And after the hurricane, all that was left was...
The ropes were still there, but the aeroplanes were gone.
When they looked at the altimeter, it had been as high
as nearly 500 feet,
and the highest gust, I think, on the recorder was 228mph.
This aircraft here, for instance, it normally cruises at 160mph.
So if he had been able to fly in those conditions,
he'd have been going backwards.
Mr B has to meet strict UK aviation regulations
in order to restore full operations at the airport,
a priority for the new governor.
Hey, Al. Sorry.
-How are you doing?
-I'm doing fine.
Tim wants to get the high-end tourists back to Anguilla.
For every day they're on the island,
they can generate tens of thousands of pounds in taxes.
-Who is this? Do we know?
-Who is this?
-I don't know.
-Maybe off the ship.
Off the boat.
-Oh, to have the money.
With such a damaged economy and our ability to actually raise
revenue being so badly affected, it's critical that the government
focuses in on that high-end market and actually ensures
that people here can fly in.
It's key to actually ensuring that we sustain jobs on the island.
We're very, very worried about lots of people being without work.
So the quicker we can show that the place is back for business,
the quicker people can come back, so much the better.
The return of high-end tourism in particular will bring in
much-needed cash to pay for the massive task
of rebuilding the island.
Half of Anguilla's 800 electricity poles
will have to be replaced.
Businesses have been forced to close.
90% of government buildings are badly damaged,
and schools have been shut for over a month.
If you really want to see inside here, you've got to make a jump up.
Classrooms in Michael Skellekie's primary school
will have to be demolished.
It was devastating for everyone.
But the school motto is Never Say Fail.
We are looking towards the future with bright hope, not giving up.
We're going to be better for it.
We're going to be better for it.
The school is only a small part of the estimated £250 million cost
of rebuilding Anguilla,
when the island's entire annual government budget is
less than 80 million.
I'm not sure where the money is going to come from,
where the funding is going to come from, but we're hoping that
the British helps with the reconstruction process.
Because there's so much to do and it will require so much capital
across the nation.
In the initial aftermath of the hurricane,
there had been criticism that the British government
wasn't doing enough to help its overseas territory.
Can show you the bedroom where Boris Johnson slept.
One of Tim's first tasks as governor was to host
the British Foreign Secretary, who'd arrived on the island to assess
the scale of the problem first-hand.
This was our sort of main...
This is the bedroom we use for ministerial visits,
cos it's quite nice with the en suite.
It's not the start I would have wanted.
I remember sort of crawling down the road through the
fallen telegraph poles and the wires when the car got stuck,
and I was thinking, "Well, there goes my first 90 day plan.
"Life's going to be a bit different."
Even a month on from Hurricane Irma,
everyone on the island is still trying to make sense
of what has happened and how their lives have changed.
Right now, people are still in shock and people have
gathered themselves together, they've been very resilient
and they're picking up the pieces of their life and restoring
and cleaning up and all that sort of stuff.
So, for some people, it hasn't really sunk in,
you know, what has really happened.
In the dark evenings, without electricity,
Linda's has become a regular meeting point for family and friends.
My neighbour found her washer, like, across the street.
It was just white and then you could see the wind coming in like...
whoosh! Like somebody was just throwing buckets, and just...
It was ridiculous.
Right now, there's a piece of...
and we don't know how we're going to get it out,
the tree will probably have to grow around it.
But you know, it's been fun in a lot of ways. Right, Helen?
We've sat around and we've told stories, we've played games.
-Played games again.
-Yeah, and we've had some good, good family times.
We talk a lot more than we used to.
-We're getting to know each other.
It really brings families together and communities together.
I mean, we're accustomed to every now and then not having power,
but not for this extended period of time.
We enjoy the simple pleasures for now,
but we don't really want to go back there.
We don't want to go back there, it gets old!
In hard times, people turn to the church for reassurance and answers.
# And the father's love has come
# Amen. #
Religion plays a central role in island life.
For a population of just 15,000,
there are 19 churches and 15 denominations.
Anglican leader, Bishop Errol Brooks...
She squeezed the life out of me.
..is doing his best to explain to his parishioners
why their lives have been so devastated.
We hear people saying, "Well, it's an act of God."
You know, even the insurance companies are using that
as a sort of cop-out, "an act of God."
You know, acts of God, for me -
love, mercy, justice.
-The positives, you know.
We need to remember that God does not cause evil to happen.
God, for reasons known only to himself,
allows certain things to happen...
..but he doesn't cause it.
There's some people who are so judgmental in this whole thing
that, you know, "God is beating up on us," and all the rest of it.
We fail to understand that sometimes we bring things on ourselves.
Bishop Brooks, like many in his parish, blames the ferocity
of Hurricane Irma on climate change, from which the Caribbean islands
are thought to be particularly vulnerable.
All right, so we're going to release them now.
Hold it very carefully.
Jan Richardson works tirelessly to protect
the island's rich but endangered wildlife.
Educating the next generation on the value of some of Anguilla's
most precious inhabitants.
Sea turtles are beautiful, gentle creatures
that deserve to be protected.
I'm hoping that the kids would begin to look at Anguilla as the home of
sea turtles and want to protect not just sea turtles
but all of our natural resources.
To gauge the impact of Irma,
Jan, along with Farah Mukhida and other members of
Anguilla's National Trust, are heading to a protected
offshore island where turtles breed.
This is the first time that we've gone since the storm,
so we don't know what to really expect.
The team is hoping that the turtle nests survived the hurricane,
but first signs aren't good.
They're all gone.
I'm feeling a little heartbroken.
There were lots of nests along this entire stretch of the beach.
Beaches were exposed to the full force of the hurricane.
The storm surge has eroded and, in some cases,
completely swept away some of the turtles' favourite nesting grounds.
It looks like the nest is over here.
I wonder if it was up or in.
So these are all hatched eggs.
They're relatively small, so it's a hawksbill turtle.
The hawksbill, Jan, they nest... How many eggs do they usually lay?
So they can lay up to 160 eggs.
But usually we get up to at least 100, maybe 120 or so.
Counting the eggs will determine if the whole nest survived the storm.
Two, three, four...
Turtles aren't the only protected wildlife on Anguilla.
A year before the hurricane, Jan and Farah released
Lesser Antillean iguanas onto the island -
a native species under threat from the invasive newcomer,
the green iguana.
I think he's saying, "Thank you for releasing me."
This is like a fresh start for the species.
Yeah. We would love for him to have babies!
I would love for him to start a family.
Devon Carter is now hoping they're still alive.
I don't know if any survived.
Maybe we're going to find one, maybe we might not.
There's a chance that they're dead.
But I don't want to believe that they're dead,
but they could be.
Maybe one or two might not have survived, but I believe
there's at least one still on the island.
But I hope that there's at least one.
So that's ten, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 65, 67.
So 67 is about half of what we would have expected in this nest.
-So, probably just washed away or blown away.
In their work as conservationists, Jan and Farah believe
they are seeing the effects of climate change first-hand.
And recent studies have linked the increasing number
of intense hurricanes over the past 50 years
to rising sea surface temperatures -
a trend many scientists think is influenced by global warming.
I mean, it's just...
I just want to say that climate change is actually real,
whether or not we choose to believe it, you know?
I mean, within the space of two weeks, we were faced
with three major storms. In the space of two weeks,
two category fives and a category four,
and so that is a testament that our seas are getting warmer
and we can only expect more of this sort of thing happening.
The Caribbean is on the front line of having to deal with
all of those consequences and all of the impacts.
-And to do this every three, four, five years,
that's not sustainable.
This is not the way we can operate.
Especially if this is going to become the norm now.
And I think it is.
This is the new normal.
-It's not really looking like anything up there.
The search of the island revealed that almost all the turtle nests
were lost in the hurricane.
Not a single iguana was found.
This is Radio Anguilla.
It's a beautiful Monday here, if you look around most of the trees,
if not all, are green and flourishing and there are flowers
We are back to work, even those who don't have electricity are coming in
with their clothes a little wrinkly.
The kids are going back to school for the first time
and some of the schools are looking a lot different.
So good luck today to everyone that's going back to school.
Margaret, please put this out here.
Five weeks later than scheduled, it's the start of a new term.
No, no, no, no, she's not a teacher.
Only the teachers, look. Teachers could park there for now.
With his primary school for 120 children damaged beyond repair,
headmaster Michael Skellekie and his teaching staff
have hastily converted holiday apartments,
offered to the school rent-free.
So we've taken like a sitting room and a dining room and a kitchen
and made it our space.
-Hi, kiddos. Morning.
-Welcome to school.
What we want to thank you for this day, you have brought us to this stage,
to this new environment, to this new building.
And we are OK.
We are alive.
Thank you, all, and...
..you can put your hands down.
Amen. All right.
Getting children back to school and back to normality is something that
Anguilla's ministers and the island's new governor have worked hard to achieve.
Kids, welcome back to school.
You've all had an interesting few weeks, eh?
Some of it was a bit scary.
It's been a difficult time, but things are getting back to normal.
So, enjoy your school year, get the most out of it.
And, as we always say, God bless Anguilla. Thanks, kids.
-# I am a promise
# I am a possibility
# I am a promise
# Promise with a capital P. #
Despite the damage to homes and belongings,
the turnout of the children has impressed the governor's wife, Dina.
We were just saying now how smart the kids look.
They're all like... Their hair's nicely done,
their uniform's all pressed.
-It's just amazing.
-Yes, they look smart.
-They look wonderful. Yes.
-When you come and you see 100, 150 kids
going back to school for the first time, that is quite...
It is quite emotional.
I've been around a bit, so I don't want to get too sentimental
but I did find that one quite touching, really.
Good morning, class.
-Good morning, teacher McCartney,
and may God bless you and may you have a pleasant day.
Anguilla has its own elected government,
but as an Overseas British Territory, when it comes
to a disaster like Irma, even one of the island's youngest citizens,
Corey Barrett, wants its wealthy partner to help out.
Dear Prime Minister Theresa May,
can you please send supplies to Anguilla,
like electrical poles, money,
vehicles and a reverse osmosis plan?
-The letter's gone.
-The letter has been hand-delivered
-to Number Ten.
-It went over the weekend.
-Very good, very good.
-So I've delivered...
-I've fulfilled my duties and responsibilities.
Please send these applies to help rebuild the beautiful island
Despite being 4,000 miles apart,
there's still a powerful bond between the UK and Anguilla.
Cricket's very popular.
People follow British football.
They really do follow the monarchy.
So, for me, affirming the relationship between
the UK and Anguilla is a really nice thing to do,
and it's an important thing to do. It's part of the job, really.
Money from Britain is already being spent on Anguilla's damaged airport
so that it can meet UK regulations in time for the holidays.
We had this problem yesterday. Oh, here we go.
OK, let's get in the Gator.
At 72 years old, and over half a century in the business,
there's little Mr B doesn't know or hasn't experienced
in the world of aviation.
Secret spot for the key.
But Irma has presented a new set of challenges.
In the storm, metal cargo containers were blown onto the airport,
damaging runway lights and smashing through the perimeter fencing,
leaving the airport open to the island's wildlife.
See, those are the type of animals we have to keep out.
Mr B and his team are working extra weekend shifts
to get the airport back up to speed for the holidays.
Crane operators have arrived to move one of the containers away
from the fence.
We'll just let him do his thing, because we just need to get that
out of there so we can put the fence back and have some integrity.
His operator there is really...
Looking really experienced.
But he seems to know what he's doing.
It must be his son because they've got their own little signals
going on and everything seems to work.
So, they're a team.
They certainly are a team.
This is my eldest son.
He's eight years old. He's been doing it, you know, off and on,
but these last couple of months, he was doing a lot of the crane work.
It's very fun to operate.
You get to lift stuff and put it in different places,
and you get paid for it, too.
Working the weekend makes little difference to Mr B either.
This was a bit of a storm.
He's still without power at home.
So, come into my world.
So since Irma, he's made alternative living arrangements.
So, I haven't made my bed yet.
We'll just put it... Put it off in the corner for now.
It just became much easier to stay here.
Even though I share it with...
There were a couple of rats in here when I first moved in.
Then I had a night of swatting roaches when they fell in
through this window, the ceiling collapsed a little bit
and they all fell in on me. So...
But other than that, it's quite comfortable.
The loss of power at home is testing everyone's resolve.
So when the electricity company knocks at the door,
it can be quite a relief.
This is the moment of truth!
My lights will be on tonight!
Glory be to Jesus!
Linda is next in line to be reconnected.
I'm excited. God is good.
It has come. A month later, but it's come.
Since Irma, Anguilla's linesmen have been working 24/7.
We really applaud them for what they're doing
and we really appreciate.
Sometimes you don't say thanks enough.
And Mr Ben, thank you!
How many have you done so far?
And thousands left.
I want my life back to normal again.
-What do I do now?
-You just switch the breaker on.
-Just make sure I... Which one? Which one, which one?
-This one here. Just move it up.
-Just move it up?
A little pressure. Right.
-And here you go, power.
-The meter is saying "delivered." Delivered, D-E-L.
-So that is...
-The meter is talking to me.
-Yes, that's right.
Let there be light!
To show her appreciation, Linda has prepared a lunch for the engineers.
There is life after loss and the quality of life is richer,
because you get a deeper appreciation for what you have.
You realise that relationships are what is key.
Not one to miss out on a party is Linda's brother, Bankie Banx,
a well-known musician in the Caribbean.
This is my brother, Bankie Banx.
Linda and Bankie both attended the secondary school next door.
Its storm-damaged buildings are now being demolished.
It's very strange look over there and don't see the old school.
I guess there are many reasons for these hurricanes.
We don't know why they come.
Changes our lives drastically and like...
..you can wake up one day and...
Yeah. My God.
Lots and lots of memories.
Lots and lots of memories.
Bankie's own house has been severely damaged
and he's been staying with his sister.
He's written a new song to mark the hurricane.
# It ain't easy
# But it's all right
# It ain't easy, we made it through the night
# It ain't easy
# But it's all right
# It ain't easy
# God is on our side. #
-# Well, it ain't easy, but it's all right
# It ain't easy, we made it through the night
# It ain't easy
# But it's all right
# It ain't easy, God is on our side. #
-THEY APPLAUD AND CHEER
Simone has been returning to Sandy Island,
where tourists once sipped rum under 20 foot palm trees.
I'm just nestling the seedling into the sand.
And I don't want to do it too deep,
because I still want the nut to be able to get some sun
and some moisture.
But if I do it too shallow, then the wind can blow it away,
because it's very windy now.
This is definitely one of the first steps in bringing Sandy Island back.
Right now, she's just a sand bar.
Once we can get these to grow, and we can get some seagrass,
then she'll start to take on the semblance of what
she looked like before.
-Grow for mama!
That's what I tell all of them.
This is seagrass that we transplanted last week.
As you can see, it's growing nicely.
It's still green.
This one looks like it's struggling a little bit.
These are doing well. We just need to trim them now.
What we're going to have to do is trim all of these branches
that have died, because right now they're just sucking the water
from the leaves that really need it.
And we've got birds.
Once the birds come back, we're good.
Because once the birds come, they are going to poop,
and once they poop, that's good because every drop of poop
makes a difference.
That's fertiliser for the plants.
-So, we love it when the birds poop!
All right. So, who is going in the water?
After the disappointment of discovering
that most of Anguilla's turtle nests were destroyed in the hurricane,
Jan and Farrah are looking to assess how the population has fared.
They're attempting to capture turtles in one of their
favourite foraging spots.
We've set the net and our swimmers are swimming around the net
looking for sea turtle. So...
Crossing fingers they find something, but nothing yet.
The encouraging news is that the seagrass on which the turtles graze
is looking healthy after the storm.
And it's not long before the team make a catch.
Bring it, bring it. Go, go!
It's an adult green turtle.
These ones are actually really important for Anguilla
because we don't have a huge population.
We can't even estimate right now, but definitely fewer than 100.
So, it's really small.
And they are endangered, so we do want to protect everything
that we do have.
A small adolescent soon follows.
We have a little one.
As the team found few nesting sites on the beaches,
there was genuine concern that the hurricane might have
driven some of the turtles away from the island.
We captured five turtles today and all of them were new.
So we hadn't seen or tagged any of them before,
which is always a good sign.
I don't think they've really been affected too much,
in terms of like sort of the foraging population, anyway.
I don't think they've been affected too much.
Just perhaps more of the nesting population,
which would have needed our beaches.
There they go.
Awesome, good job, guys.
There is a huge sense of relief that we still have turtles here,
that their habitats, their seagrass beds are still OK.
Cos at least we know that our foraging population managed
to weather the storm...
Here we are.
The governor is returning to the primary school with a response
from Downing Street to ten-year-old Corey Barratt's letter.
Right, here we are.
Corey, you're a very famous young man,
because you write to the Prime Minister
and you actually get a reply.
And it's from the Right Honourable Theresa May,
the Prime Minister. It's got her signature at the bottom.
And it says, "Dear Corey, thank you for writing to me about the impact
"of Hurricane Irma on your home island of Anguilla.
"I was shocked by the scale of the destruction."
There's no firm commitment to Corey's request
for additional funds.
Something that the governor himself will shortly be raising in meetings
with the British government in London.
"The UK Government stands side by side with the people of Anguilla.
We will continue to do all we can to restore the beautiful island
"you call home. Yours sincerely, Theresa May."
You're looking a bit shocked there.
Do you need to sit down?
Without further financial support from Britain,
Anguilla will struggle to get over the devastating effects
of Hurricane Irma.
# Glory, glory, hallelujah
# Glory, glory, hallelujah
# His truth is marching on. #
How many of you like me have been angry with Irma?
Have you asked that question?
When the tourism industry was just picking up, right?
It wasn't just picking up,
weren't we looking forward to a rambunctious season?
Linda is trying to lift the spirits of her fellow parishioners.
It ain't easy.
But it's going to be all right.
It ain't easy, but we made it through the night.
It ain't easy, but it's going to be all right
because God is on our side.
How many of you agree with that sentiment?
Let me see the hands of those who agree that it ain't easy.
It's not been easy over the past few weeks.
It's not been easy.
# Amazing Grace
# How sweet the sound
# That saved a wretch like me
# I once was lost
# But now am found. #
You're locked in here to the voice of joy destination station,
Radio Anguilla. It is a beautiful day here in Rainbow City.
Businesses up and running. Most of us have electricity.
And we're just looking forward to Christmas, baby.
It's going to be a beautiful, beautiful Christmas.
Oh, gosh, I can just feel it.
I can just feel the Christmas vibes in the air.
Now, three months after Irma,
Anguilla is returning to normal, gradually.
Matter of fact, in some regards, it's going to be better because
some of the houses that were blown down by the hurricane
were either old or the construction was not up to standard.
And so, people are building more substantial buildings now,
and we know that Anguilla will be all the better for it.
The previous roof was just a wooden structure with an aluminium roof
And with some four by four stays that were holding it up.
And the four by fours were literally lifted off the ground
and went with the wind.
So we put these walls in to create the support for the concrete roof.
That will not be able to lift off so easily with a hurricane.
A shortage of building materials has dashed Will's hopes of reopening
his hotel for the all-important Christmas holiday season.
He's still not had an insurance pay-out.
So far, for all the work we've done,
we have been paying out of our own pockets, directly.
The hotel doesn't have any resolves left.
It might look as if it's a losing battle, but you just
can't give it up, you know. We have put so much into it already
over the years. You can't just abandon it right now,
no matter what you think. My family will not give it up so easily.
Sacrifices will be made and we have to make it.
Fully restoring the island to what it used to be will take years
and require funds that Anguilla on its own will struggle to raise.
Thanks very much for coming in.
Governor Tim Foy and the island's chief minister, Victor Banks,
Linda's older brother, have just returned from urgent meetings
with the British government in London.
We made sure that they knew exactly what our priorities were,
exactly what the strategy was to engage the British government
in ensuring that we got as much support as possible.
It's really good news for us because we were able to secure £60 million
worth of grant support for the reconstruction and rehabilitation
of Anguilla after Hurricane Irma,
which is a heck of a lot of money for Anguilla.
It'll really help us to get all of our schools
and our health facilities back up,
complete the work we've been doing on the airport
to get access back into the island.
There we go. Third time lucky.
At the airport, the British government has provided
Mr B with a temporary air-traffic control tower.
Me and my brand-new hips are getting used to these stairs now.
Come into Alaska south.
Because of the equipment, the air conditioning has to be kept on.
So, as a consequence...
..the controllers have to wear this.
It's very cold in here, so we have to bulk up.
And you can see, we've got a couple of jets in now.
Cleared for take-off. Seven degrees at 12 noughts.
Since the tower was installed, flights have increased.
Private jets like to go where there's air-traffic control services
and so that's made a big difference.
One of those jets coming in for every day they're here
represents a lot of money being spent on the island.
A full ferry timetable is also back up and running.
You can't get a better picture than that, can you?
We are getting a steady trickle of tourists.
It's less than it would have been on a normal year, but I have to say,
it's a lot better than we all anticipated
the day when we all woke up after Irma.
But this is... You know, it's quite an encouraging situation
still because so many people come here
on repeat trade, it's word of mouth.
So the best that we can do to make 2017 as good, and to demonstrate
and project Anguilla out,
it's critical not just for this year but for 2018 and onwards,
and I think it's one of the top destinations in the world,
but I'm biased.
Power has been restored to large parts of the island.
Which means that Mr B is no longer sleeping on a sofa
in the airport maintenance shed.
You know, it's only when you lose electricity
that you really miss it.
It's Neville Connor's 68th birthday.
Got to take really good care of this cake.
And to mark the occasion, along with the first steps in the
regeneration of Sandy Island,
family and friends have come together for a celebration.
This feels so wonderful.
This is awesome.
To realise this day is, like, momentous, it's monumental for us.
Welcome, Gino. Thanks for coming.
It's the first time that visitors have set foot on the island
since the hurricane.
Welcome to the new Sandy Island, Father Hodge.
Is there anything here to be eaten?
-Yes, there is lots of things to be eaten.
-Right over there, on the far end.
It's not the Sandy Island of before, but for Simone and her father
today is an important step forward.
You have to start. Once we start, then we will finish.
If you never start, you never finish.
And so what better time to start than on the occasion of
my father's birthday when he starts another chapter in his life.
It's going to be an emotional day, for sure.
It's all about new challenges, new beginnings.
On the mainland, Jan is checking turtle nests buried after the storm.
So, we've just found a sea turtle nest,
and it was successful.
And so, what we're doing right now is just measuring the...
..distance from the top of the nest.
These eggs have actually hatched.
And these, we know what species they are just from the eggs.
And we know that this is a hawksbill.
Oh, there you go. So these guys just found a little hatchling.
It's like a little baby.
Oh, my goodness! You can see the smile on my face, right?
I'm so excited.
He's ready to go.
So, it is extremely, extremely important for a sea turtle,
the hatchlings, to make their own way down to the beach.
Before Irma, all of this rocky beach was actually sand.
So we just brought it a little closer so that it can make
its own way down.
So we're going to just let it walk.
The critically endangered hawksbill turtles are known to return
to the same beach where they were born,
often more than 20 years later, to lay their own eggs.
It's a wonder that they even survive.
It's amazing. It's amazing just how strong and just resilient
they are, I think.
Life has always been perilous for these turtles.
Only one or two in a thousand will make it to adulthood.
And with rising sea temperatures,
and the trend for more violent storms predicted to continue,
survival has become even more challenging.
And there he is. He's off.
We're here at Sandy Island,
on the southern end of the little island now.
So, we are going to ask God's blessing on it,
that he will protect it from all the harm and danger in the future.
God the father, God the son, God the holy spirit,
bless this place in the name of the father, the son and the holy spirit.
Now, we move to another place for another blessing.
OK? So we cover all the points.
Father Hodge is blessing Sandy Island...
We bless this place in the name of the father,
the son and the holy spirit.
Amen. Over here.
..at every point on the compass.
Bless this place in the name of the father, the son and the holy spirit.
Amen. We go, we do the point down there and then we do the middle.
Anguilla is only at the beginning of the rebuilding process.
We bless this place in the name of the father,
of the son and of the holy spirit. Amen.
It will take many years and many challenges
to undo Irma's destruction.
We bless this place in the name of the father,
the son and the holy spirit.
And pray God's protection on it from any harm and danger
in the future.
In Christ our lord, amen.
OK? I did what I could. It's now in the hands of the lord.
The threat from future hurricanes is always present,
but the spirit and faith of the islanders remain undimmed.
Hurricane Irma, unfortunately, had the upper hand on us.
But guess what, Anguillans are resilient
Anguillans are innovative, Anguillans are creative.
We've learned to make do from nothing,
and so we are rising like a phoenix from the dust right now.
Anguilla will come back stronger and better
because we Anguillans are proud, strong and free.
-# It ain't easy, but it's all right
# It ain't easy, but God is on our side. #
A year after the Island Parish series celebrated the close church community and relaxed way of life on the Caribbean island of Anguilla, cameras return to Britain's overseas territory in the aftermath of one of the most powerful hurricanes in recorded history. Hurricane Irma swept through Anguilla on 6 September 2017. A month on from the storm, islanders are still coming to terms with the devastation that it caused.
When Simone Connor and her father Neville return to their restaurant and leisure complex on a beautiful sandbank, they discover that everything from kitchen appliances to palm trees and the buildings themselves have been blown away, never to be seen again. Dr Linda Banks, a pillar of Anguillian society, is entering her fifth week without power, meaning that the only way to get water to her house is with a bucket.
It is not just the human population that is struggling in the wake of Irma. The Caribbean island is a popular breeding and foraging habitat for turtles, but when conservationists Jan and Farah look for nests buried before the hurricane, they find that most have been destroyed. Life on Anguilla has changed dramatically and to make matters worse, most holidaymakers, on whom Anguilla's small economy depends, have cancelled their reservations.
Doing what he can to help the island through the crisis is Anguilla's new British governor Tim Foy, who arrived just two weeks before Irma struck. He has the massive task of co-ordinating Britain's response to the hurricane, helping to restore power and rebuild the ferry port and airport, both badly damaged in the storm. Such is the extent of the devastation that it would be easy to give up, but the islanders of Anguilla remain surprisingly positive and stoic, thanks in part to Bishop Errol Brooks and Father Menes Hodge of the Anglican Church, who do their utmost to preserve their parishioners' strong and unerring faith.