As Hurricane Irma approaches the coast of Florida, country star Kenny Chesney is already dealing with the aftermath of the powerful storm. Chesney, who owns a home on the U.S. Virgin Island of St. John, spoke with HLN’s Robin Meade in a lengthy interview and detailed the devastation that his second home endured.
Chesney wasn’t at his Caribbean home when Irma hit, but 20 of the singer’s friends along with 10 dogs sought refuge in his island home, a place that they all felt was safe.
“My house was, we thought, a very safe place for everyone because it was built with stone, concrete and bricks in an area of the island where we didn’t feel like we were going to get a direct wind. So I felt like if they went downstairs it would be a very safe place,” he said.
While nobody was injured, Chesney’s home was destroyed.
“I had 200 mph wind-tested windows throughout my house, and every window in the house just blew out, so these people were really scared,” he said. “They found more shelter in a big closet and were in that closet for a long time, and they made it. Luckily, a lot of people made it.”
Chesney told Meade that his house is “simply gone.”
“That place and the people mean so much more to me than my house,” Chesney said before adding that the people there are “hurting” but that he believes music is medicine and he plans to do everything he can to help his island family.
“The people is what I’ve been thinking about the most because those people helped change me as a human being. I’ve got some of the best friends in my life down there…that knew me before I got famous, that knew me before my life changed. That’s why my heart goes out to these people,” the “Me and You” singer said.
Kenny also shared that he’s using his private plane to send water and dog food to St. John. In addition, a fundraiser is in the works.
Kenny has already started a relief fund called Love for Love City to help his island family. “I’m gonna do everything I can to relieve some stress from people that I’ve really grown to love over the years,” he said.
Kenny Chesney plans to rebuild his island home, but not before everyone else rebuilds. In the meantime, he’s going to do what he can to help everyone affected by Hurricane Irma.
If you would like to contribute to Kenny Chesney’s Love for Love City hurricane relief fund, click here.
Watch Kenny Chesney’s full interview with Robin Meade below.