The morning before Hurricane Irma hit Florida, Marisol and her family were preparing for the devastation that the hurricane might cause. That day, they received a frightening call from their landlord, saying their house was “unsafe” because it was made from a wooden frame.
Marisol Amaya, a freshmen here at Atlantic, was one of many who had to evacuate Florida. Florida roads were jammed with families trying to leave so that they would remain safe. People had to leave their houses on a quick notice, not having any idea about the amount of damage that would come to their home. There was a feeling of fear and anxiety on the streets after curfew, many people frightened about what was to come. Irma not only had a physical impact on Florida, but it also took an emotional toll on families.
“I was feeling scared and nervous, upset that we could lose a lot of the things we loved and cherished if our house got damaged,” said Marisol Amaya. In addition, a girl who wished to remain anonymous had to drive a family of 7 up to North Carolina on a day’s notice. The hurricane added a lot of stress and difficulty to many family’s lives.
After the hurricane had passed, families stepped outside to see the amount of damage that was done. A majority of the fences in the neighborhood had fallen, several trees were laying in the roads, and debris was spread across the road. Power lines were down, and the whole neighborhood was without power. People were expecting a Category 4 hurricane to hit the area, but thankfully it shifted to the west. The damage was not as bad as it was in the Florida Keys, where buildings were almost completely destroyed.
In an interview with Alena Morales, a freshmen at Atlantic, she said, “My family only lost power for about three hours, which was nothing compared to other people who lost it for ten days. I was a little bit nervous right before it made landfall in Florida, but as it was hitting us I wasn’t that worried. When I thought of Irma before it hit us, my mind went straight to the damage Hurricane Harvey did.”
According to the students here at Atlantic, several people did not get their power back until the Sunday before school started. According to the Washington Post, over 16 million people lost their power. In addition, over 7 million people were ordered to evacuate. The Palm Beach Post recorded that the hurricane caused 61 deaths in total, and that over $273 million will be spent “on preparations and recovery efforts by several state agencies.” According to the Sun Sentinel, some of the problems the hurricane caused include damage to buildings, power outages, flooding, and a struggle to find affordable housing.
People in places that got completely destroyed by Hurricane Irma need our help and support. There are several volunteer groups listed by the Sun Sentinel that you could join to help with the hurricane relief, including the American Red Cross, United Way of Broward County, Feeding South Florida, and Volunteer Florida. Alena Morales plans on volunteering with the American Red Cross, and “hopes the Keys can make a good recovery and get back on their feet.”