Kansas City man returns from U.S. Virgin Islands in recovery pro - KCTV5

Kansas City man returns from U.S. Virgin Islands in recovery process

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Mike Oyler is back in the metro after three weeks in the US Virgin Islands. The former FBI agent says his 32 years in law enforcement didn't prepare him for the devastation he saw. (KCTV5) Mike Oyler is back in the metro after three weeks in the US Virgin Islands. The former FBI agent says his 32 years in law enforcement didn't prepare him for the devastation he saw. (KCTV5)
KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

It's been weeks since Hurricane Maria hit the US Virgin Islands, and the recovery is just beginning. It'll be a long road for the thousands who call the islands home.

Mike Oyler is trying to help them get back on their feet. He is back in the metro after three weeks in the US Virgin Islands. 

“We wanted to just give people hope and that total strangers care about them," Oyler said.

The former FBI agent says his 32 years in law enforcement didn't prepare him for the devastation he saw.

The first thing Oyler noticed when he got off the plane was the color of his surroundings.

"Nothing but brown ... dead trees for acres and acres and acres," he said.

St. John was once a lush, beautiful island. Now everywhere he looked, he saw destruction and loss.

“Just saw houses with no roofs. Cars just tossed like matchbox toys. Goats and pigs and burros and horses and deer just wandering the streets. They were as displaced as the people were," Oyler said.

But he says they’ve made progress. Water is back on in some homes, and restaurants are resuming business.

"The schools opened last week which is very exciting for St. John. The people of St. John and St. Thomas are very tough, and they're going to get through this and hopefully, we just gave them a little step to get back to normalcy," Oyler said.

The Red Cross is always in need of donations and volunteers. Click here for more information.

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