The Category 3 storm packed winds of about 115 mph as it churned in the Atlantic Wednesday.
About 10,000 visitors to the Outer Banks were evacuated in preparation for the storm.
"The struggle will continue long after the world forgets," the charity ViequesLove said.
The storm left a trail of destruction throughout the popular tourist destination.
Initial images from the island showed catastrophic destruction.
The storm was expected to brush by the island Wednesday and Thursday, bringing storm conditions to Haiti and the Dominican Republic.
The storm's eyewall passed through both islands as a Category 5 storm Wednesday morning.
The damage wrought by Irma makes certain Caribbean regions far more susceptible to devastation from Hurricane Maria.
The storm slammed into Puerto Rico early Wednesday morning as a Category 4 hurricane.
The hurricane remained in the Atlantic Ocean but was expected to bring storm conditions to the East Coast.
The Category 1 storm was expected to make landfall sometime Thursday afternoon.
Initial assessments said 90 percent of homes on the island chain were damaged.
Jose remained a Category 1 hurricane with winds of up to 105 mph.
The storm was downgraded again early Tuesday morning as it made its way toward Tennessee.
Though hurricanes and tornadoes are created under separate environmental conditions, they are interconnected.
Now a tropical storm, Irma was expected to bring heavy rain and winds to a number of states.
Initial images out of the state showed downed trees and widespread flooding.
Jose was downgraded to a Category 1 storm while Katia became a tropical storm after hitting Mexico.
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The small Caribbean island was devastated by Hurricane Irma.
The extent of the damage remained unclear after the storm cut communication with tie islands.
The Category 5 storm remained wider than the entire state of Florida as it tracked toward the Bahamas Thursday.
Tropical storm Jose officially became a hurricane Wednesday afternoon.
The tropical storm officially became a hurricane late Wednesday afternoon.
It's not that uncommon for an earthquake-measuring technology to register high winds or strong waves.
Twitter users pleaded for information about the fate of the island and its residents in the wake of the storm.
The Category 5 storm brought 185 mph winds to the Caribbean island Wednesday morning.
Irma could brings winds up to 185 miles per hour.
The Category 5 hurricane could bring potentially catastrophic winds if it makes landfall in the United States.
An American Airlines flight to Seattle was forced to return to Miami after the plane was struck by lightning.