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Hurricane hits home

Hurricanes take toll on family and friends of the Walsh Jesuit community

Caitlin Drake, Staff Writer

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Hurricane Harvey affected Texas and other southern states while Hurricane Irma mainly affected Florida and the Virgin Islands. Thousands of lives and homes have been greatly impacted by these storms. Family members of some Walsh Jesuit students had to prepare for the storms.

A twenty-four hour breaking news source, The Daily Caller, offers some insight into the storms’ costly impact by providing startling statistics. Harvey killed seventy-one people. Various Red Cross facilities sheltered 32,000 people. Eighty percent of flood victims from Harvey do not have flood insurance. In the three states most affected by Irma, thirty people have died, 25% of homes in the Florida Keys were destroyed and another 90% were damaged in some way.

(Photo via Flickr, Creative Commons license)
In the wake of Hurricane Irma, many cities suffered massive flooding resulting in a situation which will be costly and time consuming to restore.

When Harvey hit Texas on September 3, most of the damage occurred in Houston and the area south. In addition, torrents of rain and high winds hit even 300 miles away in Austin where senior Sophia Judge’s sister, Isabella, attends St. Edward’s University. Judge said, “My sister told us the winds were so high that her [tiny shih tzu] was being blown over by the winds.”

While Isabella’s roommate moved into her dorm with her parents’ help, her neighborhood in Houston was being evacuated, leaving her parents with nowhere to go. They were forced to sleep on the couch in Isabella’s tiny dorm room. Luckily, when they returned home to Houston, they found their house was undamaged.

Only days after Harvey, Irma hit Florida on September 11. Sophia also has a friend, Alex Roacha, who lives in the Florida Keys where he is an EMT. Roacha was ordered to evacuate, as were all other first responders, because the situation was too dangerous. “You know a storm must be really bad when even the first responders are told they need to leave,” shared Sophia. Roacha and other first responders returned to the Keys before residents. Sophia stated, “It’s cool that he was given the opportunity to return home, but he came back to a home that looked like a war zone.”

Alyssa Piazza, another senior, worried about relatives in Florida; her cousins and their mom live in Tampa while her uncle lives in Fort Myers. Piazza stated, “I stayed up to date on my family mostly through Facebook and Snapchat.” Fortunately, Piazza’s family stayed safe during the storm.

My sister told us the winds were so high that her [tiny shih tzu] was being blown over by the winds.”

— Sophia Judge, '18

Senior Sydney Dawson shared that her grandma, who lives in Florida, experienced substantial damage to her beachfront condo, located in Key West. The living room completely flooded, and the front porch was destroyed.

Friends of Walsh Jesuit faced the fear of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. They boarded up and evacuated their homes. They lived in fear that a storm would take them, their families, and their homes and potentially leave them devastated.

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Walsh Jesuit High School's Student News Site
Hurricane hits home