Hurricane Irma impacted the Dominican Republic between September 6 and 7, 2017, after making a direct hit on Puerto Rico. This powerful storm first made landfall on September 6th on the Caribbean islands of Antigua and Barbuda. The Dominican Republic experienced higher than usual rainfall, with sustained winds of 155 mph, which were felt 270 km from the eye of the storm in the capital of the island Santo Domingo.
The Dominican Republic, lovingly known as the “Paradise of the Caribbean,” is a favorite among travelers for its picturesque beaches and interesting history. Seeing as Hurricane Irma was anticipated to hit with such force and fury, Dominicans were unsure of what to expect. Tourism is one of the leading sources of income for the island, with over six million travelers arriving at the island each year.
Irma Hitting Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico, 381 km to the east of the island, was impacted shortly before the Dominican Republic. Unfortunately, they were not as lucky, seeing severe flooding and completely losing power throughout the entire island. Like the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico sees a tremendous influx of travelers each year, with tourism also being one of their main sources of income.
To this day, Puerto Rico still has not completely recovered from this severely damaging storm. Aside from losing thousands of lives, power remains sketchy and chaos and destruction are still prevalent throughout the island.
After Hurricane Irma
Post-Hurricane Irma, tourism in the Dominican Republic is business as usual. While the storm was scary and forceful, it left the island with minimal damage. The island was able to make a quick recovery and is currently as popular as ever.
In a summary, the agricultural sector and rural areas of the Dominican Republic suffered the most under the impact of Hurricane Irma. Some local and small farmers lost the harvest of the year as a result of the flooding and destruction.
While Hurricane Irma was one of the most feared storms of the past several years, the Dominican Republic fared well. One year after the hurricane the island and its endless white beaches continue to be as inviting as ever, awaiting travelers from near and far with open arms.