Florida vs. Irma: A plea for aid

Category:  Opinions
Wednesday, September 13th, 2017 at 1:56 PM

Hurricane Irma, at category 4, approached and struck the coast of Florida this past week. People in Key West were under mandatory evacuation, according to CBSMiami. Key West International Airport closed the night of Sept. 6, with flights not set to resume until further notice. People emptied stores, gathering what provisions they could; houses and businesses in the Keys boarded up their windows and doors in preparation for the violent winds. Emergency Operations Center Director Martin Senterfitt said the waves could get so high that they could “put the ocean over the islands.”

CNN stated, “The evacuation of Miami Dade county was the largest in the counties’ history, with an estimated 660,000 people.” Even with the mass evacuation, there were still those who chose to stay behind and face the storm.

Given the mass amount of people evacuating, Interstates 95 and 75, as well as other roads, were jam-packed with cars and other vehicles, according to CNN. State troopers were monitoring the roads to help with car accidents and disabled cars, helping everyone evacuate before the storm hits, which projected to hit roughly 8 a.m. Sunday. Swiss Re, the Leading Global Reinsurer, estimated that the damage from Irma could potentially cost up to $100 billion. Last year, it was estimated hurricanes cost $28 billion a year in damage, on average nationwide, according to MSN. The cost of hurricane damage is expected to rise roughly 40 percent in the next 58 years.

In 1992, Hurricane Andrew was the last category 5 hurricane to hit Florida. The damage from Hurricane Andrew cost $27 billion and destroyed 63,000 homes, killing 6 people.

The Caribbean island of Barbuda has been hit hard by Hurricane Irma; according to CNN, 95 percent of the buildings and homes were either damaged or destroyed, leaving almost the entire population homeless and without shelter. Irma was at a constant 185-mph wind for more than any hurricane in recorded history. Irma is being followed up by Hurricane Jose, which is thankfully not supposed to make landfall at any point and will dissipate over the Atlantic.

There is a lot of damage that’s going to happen, or has already occurred, and many people will lose their homes from Irma. After such a devastating blow from Hurricane Harvey and potentially Irma, people will be needing a lot of help getting out of the ruts. In these horrible times of loss, we people need to stick together and help each other out. The Wal-Mart cooperation is donating $20 million to help relief funds for Harvey victims; Verizon has even donated $10 million.

Although it is disappointing to see that none of these multi- billion dollar companies have given more, it’s still encouraging to see that they are helping in some way. If you or anyone you know wants to help, but just don’t know how to, you can go to Convoy of Hope or All Hands to donate any amount you want, or can spare, to help those in need of food, clean water, and shelter.

Steven Tagliente can be reached at voices.spectator@gmail.com.

Tags: voices, opinion

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