FEMA has chartered a cruise ship to house hurricane relief workers working in St. Thomas following the catastrophic damage caused by Hurricane Irma there, the Orlando Sentinel reported this week.
Irma, which ripped across St. Thomas as a Category 5 hurricane, destroyed much of the U.S. Virgin Islands and left 90 percent of the island without power. Houses collapsed, boats flipped, roofs were ripped off and trees and telephone poles knocked down.
The cruise ship – the Grand Celebration – can accommodate up to 1,900 passengers. It arrived in St. Thomas Saturday and is scheduled to stay for three months.
“We are providing housing, meals and other hotel services to the first responders,” Maria Miller, the cruise line’s chief marketing officer, said in an email to the Sentinel. “The ship will be their ‘home base’ over the course of the charter.”
FEMA is paying the cruise line for its “loss of