Va­ca­tion? Check be­fore you go

Winnipeg Sun - - NEWS - — The Wash­ing­ton Post

No ques­tion, Hur­ri­cane Irma was a heart­less beast.

Over the past week, the storm clawed its way up a chain of Caribbean is­lands be­fore knock­ing down the door into Florida.

The nat­u­ral dis­as­ter, now a trop­i­cal de­pres­sion, has left be­hind a war zone of roof­less homes, top­pled trees, crum­bled ho­tels and flooded streets.

Many des­ti­na­tions will need months to re­cover, while oth­ers have al­ready started to bounce back.

“The af­fected coun­tries are get­ting on with the busi­ness of re­build­ing,” said Hugh Ri­ley, sec­re­tary gen­eral of the Caribbean Tourism Or­ga­ni­za­tion. “By the end of this week, many will have a bet­ter as­sess­ment of their dam­age.”

Ri­ley re­minds trav­ellers that the Caribbean en­com­passes a large swath of trop­i­cal real es­tate and that Irma grazed only a small por­tion of it.

The Caribbean and Florida have just started their re­cov­ery ef­forts, and sta­tus up­dates are chang­ing daily.

For the most cur­rent re­ports, we reached out to the Caribbean Tourism Or­ga­ni­za­tion, CheapCaribbean.com, In­trepid Travel and Lisa Grubba, an en­vi­ron­men­tal writer for Florida Field Notes.

Of course, be­fore you book a trip to an Irma-blown des­ti­na­tion, con­tact your ho­tel to con­firm it’s in­tact.

In ad­di­tion, reach out to the lo­cal tourism of­fice for the most timely in­for­ma­tion.

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