The U.S. Virgin Islands are still reeling from the devastation of two hurricanes, and Fayette County Director of the Department of Building Safety Joe Scarborough is lending his expertise to help them get back on their feet.
The U.S. Virgin Islands were slammed by two Category 5 hurricanes within two weeks in September. Thousands of homes were damaged or destroyed, with the Army Corps of Engineers installing roughly 3,600 temporary roofs. Much of the islands are still without power, and 11,000 families have applied for disaster relief.
In an effort to aid in recovery, the International Code Council (ICC) sent out a call for certified building officials, examiners, and inspectors to assist in permitting and inspection of almost every structure on the islands. Scarborough is one of those answering the call.
“There’s simply too much construction for existing personnel to handle,” he said.
Scarborough will assist the Virgin Islands Territorial Emergency Management Agency, ICC, FEMA, and GEMA in its recovery efforts. He will volunteer for a 30-day period, and his salary, airfare, lodging, meals, and car rental will be fully reimbursed.
Scarborough assured that, because it is the offseason for new construction, his staff will be able to able to handle the daily permitting and inspection workloads without assistance while he is gone.
“We don’t often get an opportunity to give of ourselves to somebody else,” said Scarborough. “I’ll do everything I can to help them.”