NEW YORK (FOX 5 NEWS) - With winds up to 175 mph, Hurricane Irma tears through the Caribbean, leaving death, destruction, and many areas under water in its wake. Irma has killed at least 11 in the Caribbean but authorities say the death toll is expected to rise because crews are struggling to reopen roads and restore power.
The storm damaged nearly every building on the small, flat island of Barbuda. About 60 percent of the people on the island are homeless.
The strongest Atlantic Ocean hurricane ever measured pummeled the French-Dutch island of Saint Martin/Sint Maarten. The prime minister of Barbuda said 90 percent of the tiny island is destroyed.
Saint Martin's famous Princess Juliana International Airport is now in ruins. Some Saint Martin resorts have already canceled reservations for the rest of the year. The damage to the once pristine island is being described as catastrophic.
Joseph Donato, also known as DJ Shortkutz, has been working in Saint Martin for the last decade. The Yonkers resident just made it home on the last flight out. Donato worries recovering from Irma in Saint Martin will be an almost insurmountable task.
Hurricane Irma brought historic winds and heavy rain to Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands Tuesday into Wednesday.
Although Puerto Rico was largely unscathed, the lashing winds and rain left more than a million people without power and nearly 50,000 without water. Puerto Rico's public power company is warning that some areas could be without power for four to six months because the infrastructure was already badly deteriorated before Irma hit.
Thomas Novak lives in Isla Verde, about 15 minutes from Old San Juan. His apartment is about a block from the ocean. He said luckily he went to Home Depot and bought panels to cover his windows. The eye of the hurricane passed over them. Power outages appear to be the biggest problem where he lives.
In New York, people with friends and relatives in Puerto Rico readied supplies for the island at Assemblyman Felix Ortiz's office in Sunset Park, Brooklyn.
"I've been in contact with my brother and family out there, they've been telling me there's no food to get from anywhere, supermarkets are closed," said one volunteer.
Julian Bishop from St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands sent Fox 5 videos and photos showing downed power lines and trees. Many people on the island are without power. Bishop's home is using a generator.
"Around the island, we have a 36-hour curfew from 6 a.m. this morning to 6 p.m. Thursday," he said. "Everyone's supposed to stay inside because the wind is really dangerous."
The Dominican Republic suffered damage. Coastal areas -- with thousand locals and tourists -- were evacuated ahead of the storm.