Almost all of the schools are destroyed and will be closed for months, at best.

Hourslong lines wind through the port, as families, tourists and migrant workers alike wait for aid, receiving an odd assortment of items that on some days include frozen chicken and a three-pound bag of mozzarella cheese — on an island with no power and few working appliances to cook or refrigerate them.

But there is still almost no fuel or electricity, and food delivery, for now, remains erratic.

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But he would stay, he had decided, and rebuild what he lost. Christiane Carvigant sat near the makeshift government offices with her three children, ages 17, 16 and 9, as they prepared to evacuate. “It will be a long time before we can live normally again,” she said, “but at least we have our lives.” Ludmen Vincia, a Haitian woman whose children were born in St. Her son, Michael, has special learning needs, and their social worker says he must leave the island to continue studying.

The children cannot afford to miss school, she said, especially Emeline, a high school senior who is meant to graduate this year. A bus came past to collect the children for their flight. But her residency permit expired two years ago, meaning that she cannot leave the island on one of the flights chartered for evacuees.

Rémy Thibaud sat on his battered patio in the shade of the only palm tree left standing, yelling into the phone.

Around him were the splintered remnants of his restaurant and bakery.

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The woman carried a small suitcase, enough for her and her child to try to start over.

Well beyond the urgent needs — distributing water and food to those without, restoring power and communications, repairing roofs and addressing the trauma inflicted by the storm — a faint possibility for the island’s rebirth is emerging. But today we have the chance not to rebuild, but to build.” The island — split between a French and a Dutch side, with a population of 75,000 over 34 square miles — has only just begun to take stock of its losses.

For many, though, the future is confined to making it through the day. The government on the French side has reported an official death toll of 11, but an assessment of the full extent of the islandwide destruction may be weeks or months away.

Gibbs, adding that the number of bodies recovered and people reported missing is small for now.

“This thing was just so big, I think people believe the death toll has to be higher.” Whatever new form the island takes, tourism will remain the heart of its economy. The storm did not differentiate between the island’s stark socioeconomic differences.

Poor areas flooded and suffered the same as the high-cost, pastel-colored communities of Orient Bay.