Hurricane Irma is already the most powerful Atlantic Ocean storm in history, and has destroyed nearly everything in its path. That includes Richard Branson’s private island. The billionaire refused to leave his island located in the British Virgin Islands, and decided to ride out the storm -- In his concrete wine cellar.
Branson, along with about a dozen Virgin Group staff members, had a sleepover of epic proportions on Necker Island which has withstood 3 hurricanes in the past 30 years. He took to social media and his blog on the Virgin website to document the events.
Before Irma hit, Branson tweeted there was some uncertainty of how the island would hold up in a Category 5 hurricane like Irma.
One thing was certain. The Virgin staff would be inflicting their own damage on the wine supply. Branson wrote on his blog, “Knowing our wonderful team as I do, I suspect there will be little wine left in the cellar when we all emerge.”
Branson’s social media went quiet for hours during the storm, but he finally resurfaced on his blog Thursday morning to let people know that the whole team was safe. The island and its buildings, however, were not. The doors and windows outside the wine cellar were blown 40 feet away, and “whole houses and trees have disappeared."
Branson wrote, "I have never seen anything like this hurricane. Necker and the whole area have been completely and utterly devastated.”
He urged everyone in the path of Irma to take shelter immediately.
He wrote, "For those who are still in the path of Hurricane Irma, and Hurricane Jose to come, I cannot emphasise enough how important it is to put safety first and prepare as strongly as possible. Having seen first-hand the power of this storm, please ensure you stay inside, ideally in organised shelters or other solid concrete structures with water, supplies and emergency contact plans."
Watch the video to see why having a private island means nothing to a hurricane.