What it's like to live through a Category 5 hurricane, as told by residents of a tiny island

Get the Full StoryHurricane warnings in the U.S. Virgin Islands are, largely, a disrupter. It happens every year. Tourists leave on the advice of the Weather Channel, new island residents that have never experienced a hurricane wring their hands, servers and bartenders grouse about the loss of business, old timers recount stories of past hurricanes like a badge of honor.

Usually nothing comes of these storms. Afterward everyone has a good chuckle about the high-strung weathermen who got it all wrong.

SEE ALSO: Before and after photos show Hurricane Irma's devastation in the Caribbean

Hurricane Irma was different. Instead of going north, as many projected, Irma veered southwest and centered its eye directly over the British and U.S. Virgin Islands. By the time islanders understood the severity of what was headed their way, it was too late. Read more...More about Science, Extreme Weather, Hurricane, Hurricane Irma, and St John