What to Know About Hurricane Irma in St. Maarten/St. Martin?

Hurricane Irma struck the island of Sint Maarten/Saint Martin on September 6th, 2017.

Hurricane Irma was a category 5 storm with strong winds that reached a peak intensity of 177 mph (285 km/h). Hurricane Irma had a devastating effect on the infrastructure of the island, entire marinas on the French side of Saint Martin were left in ruins due to boats colliding with each other as a result of the strong winds. Hotels on the island also were affected by the hurricane, in one instance a hotel caught fire during the storm and due to the terrible condition of the roads, firefighters could not extinguish the flames.

Hotels all over the island lost entire sections of their hotel because of the strong winds of Hurricane Irma, during that time it was possible to see the interiors of devastated hotel rooms from the outside of the hotel. Vehicles all over the island were strewn about by the strong winds and the overall condition of the island was a mess.

As a result of Hurricane Irma on Sint Maarten/ Saint Martin were 8 deaths, 73 injuries, and one person in critical condition. Approximately 95% of the buildings in Sint Maarten/ Saint Martin were damaged and 60% of those buildings were totally uninhabitable. The authorities estimate that 70% of the houses in Sint Maarten/ Saint Martin were severely damaged or uninhabitable because of Hurricane Irma, which forced thousands of residents to move into public shelters. The authorities also estimate that the total damage from Hurricane Irma in Sint Maarten/ Saint Martin was approximately $7.15 billion (€7.32 billion).

After Hurricane Irma struck Sint Maarten/ Saint Martin, desperate conditions and food shortages led to reports of scavenging, theft, and violence. As a result, the French government increased its troop deployment to 2,200 and the Dutch government sent approximately 600 military and police officers to help. Hurricane Irma is considered the worst natural disaster that hit Sint Maarten/ Saint Martin in the last century.

Was St. Maarten affected by Hurricane Irma?

Yes, St. Maarten was severely affected by Hurricane Irma. The result of Hurricane Irma on St. Maarten/ St. Martin was 8 deaths, 73 injuries, and one person in critical condition. The winds of Hurricane Irma reached a peak intensity of 177 mph (285 km/h), making it a Category 5 hurricane that flattened entire structures and submerged cars on the road. Hurricane Irma is considered the worst natural catastrophe to hit the island of St. Maarten/ St. Martin. In fact, total damages are approximately $7.15 billion (€7.32 billion).

Hurricane Irma uprooted trees from the ground and sent vehicles and debris from damaged structures across the territory of the island of St. Martin. Marigot, the capital of French St. Martin, was left in ruins and littered with the wreckage of boats. There was also one hotel that caught fire, and another hotel that lost almost its entire first floor. Most of the buildings at St. Maarten/ St. Martin suffered some type of damage and many of them were destroyed entirely.

How often do hurricanes hit St. Maarten?

Hurricanes hit St. Maarten approximately every year from September to November. This time period is known as “hurricane season” in the Caribbean. Hurricanes in St. Maarten/ St. Martin usually occur between October and November. There have been some significant hurricanes on St. Maarten/ St. Martin in recent years including Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Jose in 2017, Hurricane Omar in 2008, Hurricane Gonzalo in 2014, and Hurricane Marilyn and Hurricane Luis in 1995.

Has St. Maarten recovered from Irma?

Yes, St. Maarten has recovered from Hurricane Irma. It took several years for houses on the island to be rebuilt and for hotels and other businesses to reopen. The damage caused by Irma prompted a number of initiatives to raise funds immediately. Thanks to the help of people from St. Maarten/ St. Martin and all over the world, St. Maarten was able to recover eventually. Even tourists, who are such a major source of income for St. Maarten, returned to vacation on the island, giving the island a chance to grow and prosper.

The island lost a large proportion of its businesses, homes, and months of income due to the hurricane, and just two weeks before Hurricane Irma came Hurricane Maria. The devastating effect of these hurricanes on the island’s economy is something that St. Maarten is used to due to its location within the Caribbean. However, because the natural beauty of the island attracts tourists the economy usually has the opportunity to recover from the destruction. The money that tourists spend at restaurants, beaches, resorts, and fun activities helps the island recover from economic loss.

Has Maho Beach been rebuilt?

Yes, Maho Beach has been successfully rebuilt. As a matter of fact, Maho Beach is today one of the most visited places in St. Maarten. Some of the hotels that have been repaired and are perfect for staying in when visiting Maho Beach on St. Maarten are Divi Little Bay Beach Resort, Sonesta Ocean Point Resort, The Morgan Resort & Spa, and Oyster Bay Beach Resort.

When did a hurricane hit St. Maarten?

Some of the hurricanes that have hit St. Maarten in the last years are Hurricane Irma in 2017, Hurricane Gonzalo in 2014, Hurricane Earl in 2010, Hurricane Debby in 2000, Hurricane Lenny and Hurricane Jose in 1999, Hurricane George in 1998, Hurricane Bertha in 1996, Hurricane Luis in 1995, Hurricane Faith in 1966, and Hurricane Donna in 1960.

Where did Hurricane Irma hit St. Martin?

Hurricane Irma hit the entire island of St. Maarten on the morning of September 6th, back in 2017. Some of the locations in both Dutch St. Maarten and French St. Martin that were most devastated by Hurricane Irma were Marigot, Grand Case, Philipsburg, and Maho Bay. Irma was a category 5 hurricane with winds of 177 mph (285 km/h) that ripped roofs off buildings, flattened homes, and clogged streets with debris. Hurricane Irma was one of the worst storms that struck St. Martin in the last century. There were 8 fatalities, 23 injuries, and 7,000 inhabitants displaced due to Hurricane Irma. In addition to that, Hurricane Irma also destroyed 90% of the buildings on the island such as homes, hotels, restaurants, and even part of Princess Juliana Airport.

How long did Hurricane Irma last?

Hurricane Irma started in the Caribbean on August 30th, 2017, and lasted until September 10th, 2017. Hurricane Irma hit St. Maarten/ St. Martin on the morning of September 6th, 2017. Hurricane Irma struck many islands in the Caribbean including Puerto Rico, Saba, Anguilla, St. Maarten/ St. Martin, St. Barthélemy, and more. Hurricane Irma had devastating effects on Sint Maarten/ Saint Martin such as destroyed roads and buildings, closed ports and airports, causing more problems with transportation and distribution of relief supplies.

Is it always windy in St. Maarten?

No, St. Maarten is not always windy. In fact, it is known that the wind conditions in St. Maarten are fairly consistent for most of the year. The average wind range is from 13 knots to 20 knots (14.9 mph to 23 mph). The windiest month in St. Maarten is July, followed by June, and February.

What is the coldest month in St. Maarten/ St. Martin?

The coldest month in St. Maarten/ St. Martin is January followed by February. The temperatures between January and February can reach 68 F° (20 C°).

What is the hottest month in St. Maarten/ St. Martin?

The hottest month in St. Maarten/ St. Martin is July followed by August. The temperatures between July and August can reach 88 F° (31 C°). Although these are the hottest temperatures of the year, some tourists choose this weather to fully enjoy their vacations on the beautiful St. Maarten/ St. Martin beaches.


What is the best month to go to St. Martin?

The best month to go to St. Martin and avoid the hurricane season are between December and July. Tourists who want to know about the best and worst times to visit St. Maarten should know that there are options for every type of traveler. Tourists looking to travel to St. Martin in the less rainy months may find it better to travel especially in February and March. For those looking to travel to St. Martin when the weather is the warmest, June or July may be the best time to do so.

Is St. Maarten in the hurricane belt?

Yes, St. Maarten is in the hurricane belt. The hurricane season in St. Maarten and the rest of the Caribbean is from the 1st of June to the 30th of November. The climate characteristics of St. Maarten during hurricane season is rain and storms, hurricanes are usually experienced between the months of September to November.

Is the water warm in St. Martin?

Yes, the water is warm in St. Martin. Tourists visit St. Martin for different reasons and one of them is because of the amazing water temperature of around 79.7 F° (26.5 C°).

How warm is the water in St. Maarten?

The water temperature in St. Maarten ranges from 76 F° to 83.3 F° (24.5 C° to 28.5 C°). The water temperature in places such as Philipsburg, Marigot, Maho Beach, Grand Case, Anse Marcel, Orient Beach, and Simpson Bay is presented below.

January77 F° (25 C°)
February76 F° (24.5 C°)
March77.9 F° (25.5 C°)
April77.9 F° (25.5 C°)
May79.7 F° (26.5 C°)
June81.5 F° (27.5 C°)
July81.5 F° (27.5 C°)
August82.4 F° (28 C°)
September83.3 F° (28.5 C°)
October81.5 F° (27.5 C°)
November79.7 F° (26.5 C°)
December77.9 F° (25.5 C°)