Author Homer Hickam's Virgin Islands home hit by hurricane Irma - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Author Homer Hickam's Virgin Islands home hit by hurricane Irma

Homer Hickam talks about the hurricane damage to his home on St. John. (Source: WAFF) Homer Hickam talks about the hurricane damage to his home on St. John. (Source: WAFF)
HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) -

Irma hit the U.S. Virgin Islands as a Category 5 hurricane. Huntsville author Homer Hickam is just starting to learn about the damage done to his home on the island of St. John.

The author of "Rocket Boys," a memoir that the movie "October Sky" is based on, said it does not look good from the pictures and accounts he's getting, but he added there are others on the island who have it far worse, and that he'll be going there to lend a hand as soon as he can.

Hickam's second home, Skyridge Villa, sits on Coral Bay side of the island of St. John. Irma hit the island with winds of 165 to 180 mph. The roof and top floor are gone.

"We've lavished so much care on that old house and it was just our joy, so losing it's difficult but we really believe that there's a greater plan out there and we're going to persevere. When you're on the bottom there's only one place to go and that's up and that's kind of how we're looking at it," Hickam said.

Hickam's has talked with friends on the island and said they are physically all right, but there is a lot of recovery ahead.

"We think everybody's OK. Most of the homes have either been destroyed or seriously damaged, but the people Coral Bay and St. John are really tough people and they'll come back," Hickam said.

He said he will return to St. John soon to help his neighbors who have been devastated by the fierce storm.

"We all have to be understanding and put ourselves in the shoes of the people down there. They're struggling. but as soon as possible, I'm going to get on down there and do what I can do," Hickam said.

He added that he is concerned for the cats, dogs donkeys and other animals that are suffering right now. He has a link on his official Facebook page where people can help an organization that is working to save the animals.

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