Hurricanes Harvey and Irma Bring Chaos

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Hurricane Harvey formed on Aug. 17, barreling into Texas eight days later. With 71 confirmed fatalities and eight heavily impacted regions in the world, including the US, Honduras, and Nicaragua, this Category three hurricane was unofficially labeled as the third-costliest tropical cyclone in the US. It tore roofs off of homes, bulldozed trees, and obliterated bridges, leaving a significant cost of more than $70 billion. Hurricane Harvey lasted for about two weeks and ended on Sept. 2.

“I have a few friends from Houston who directly experienced the hurricane,” said James Derdeyn, high school design and Yearbook teacher. “Luckily, the homes of my friends were relatively not affected because they were at higher elevation than other homes. However, they had no electricity for the first couple of days after the hurricane hit, so my friends had to cook by using camping stoves and gas lighting.”

There have been multiple efforts made by organizations to aid the regions that have been affected by Hurricane Harvey. For instance, UNICEF USA has been supporting rebuilding attempts, especially schools and other educational facilities. The organization’s main focus is to send students, who were unable to do so because of the catastrophic impacts of the hurricane, back to school.

Soon after Hurricane Harvey hit, Hurricane Irma ripped through the Caribbean, demolishing everything in its path. It reached a status of a Category five hurricane on Sept. 5, with terrifying wind speeds of 295km/h (185mph). Hurricane Irma greatly increased its parameters, hurling into Florida. Reports from CNN show that citizens of Florida had been told to evacuate before the hurricane was hypothesized to hit on Sept. 9. It swept into Florida on Sept. 10 as a Category four hurricane, and consequences were significant. Overtaking the sea wall, the hurricane crashed down power lines, cutting power off in 5.8 million homes and businesses. Upon moving away, the hurricane frightened millions by unexpectedly draining Florida’s shorelines.

“I lived in Florida for half of my life and it is devastating to hear about the disaster,” said Jessica Langham (11). “My grandma’s friend had her house heavily flooded. The water reached the windows of the house, and the wooden floors were buckled. She no longer has a functioning fridge nor a coffee pot, and the list is endless. She spends her time filing flood claims and calling restoration companies. Roads are impassable and every 12 hours, the high tides cause floods again. This hurricane has done a great lot of damage, and it really depresses me that these people no longer have homes to come home to.”

Specifically, in regards to Hurricane Irma, the Miami Dolphins and the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) Foundation, in collaboration, have created a dollar for dollar matching campaign. Moreover, the Miami Dolphins’s community service team, Miami Dolphins Special Teams, has announced that it will be helping reconstruct buildings in the affected regions, such as Monroe and Collier counties.

“The community as a whole is getting together to recover—they are rebuilding businesses and homes,” said Jessica Terbrueggen, high school English teacher. “Local residents are also helping one another by supplying water to those who need it and providing shelter to those whose homes are ruined.”

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Kirsten Huh

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