Last week Hurricane Irma left a path of destruction throughout the Caribbean and up into Florida. Many Floridians were without power for days. Some had flood waters so high they couldn’t leave their houses. Despite it being a week later, many Floridians still feel the effects of the hurricane on their lives.
Caleb Suiters, a Tampa-area native, said he couldn’t leave his neighborhood for a few days after the hurricane hit.
“The flooding was so bad that even my truck couldn’t get through the water. A lot of the issues with the hurricane down here are about what’s after. People still don’t have power. There’s trees all over the roads. We’re so close to the water that pretty much the entire coastline has some sort of water damage.”
People looking for assistance recovering from the hurricane can contact FEMA. According to FEMA’s website, there has been $106,670,132 approved for Irma relief. FEMA has also opened up a few websites just to help with information in the following days of the storm.
There is a Rumor Control page dedicated to debunking and providing information on rumors spreading on social media. Some of these rumors could be potentially dangerous, such as the idea that service animals are not allowed into hurricane shelters.
“There are rumors that persons with disabilities are not permitted to bring their service animals to shelters serving disaster survivors of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. This is FALSE,” says the FEMA website.
Many students have been affected by the hurricane as well. The University of North Florida canceled classes from Friday September 8th to Wednesday September 13th.
“This really pushed back everyone’s schedules,” says Pierce Turner, a UNF Senior.
“I think they should’ve just canceled school for the full week. Professors had to struggle to find assignments and there was just a lot of poor communication between everyone. I had one teacher who kept a test scheduled for the day we got back and we hadn’t even gone over half the material. It’s a mess,” said Turner.
UNF Physical Facilities are up and running as normal. A representative from their office noted that students should be cautious and aware of trees and debris in the road.
“Students are safe to return to classes and our team is working on cleaning up the remainder of branches scattered throughout campus,” said the representative.
Though Jacksonville was not directly hit, there are many people who still have to navigate around the damage Irma caused. Some bridges that led to the Beaches were closed for a few days after the storm. Many people had difficulty getting to work in the days following.
“I have to work,” says Kody James, a student and Chick-fil-a employee.
“I was late to work for the first three days after the storm. It’s crazy. Even up here where we didn’t even get hit too bad we still feel the effects. There were branches everywhere, trees fallen over, signs blown every where. They have it way worse down south and in the Caribbean but this is a storm that affects everyone.”
It’s clear that even though Hurricane Irma is no longer active, the damage it caused is still felt throughout the state. While some areas are waiting for life to return to normal, others have a long road to recovery.
For more information on Irma relief visit the FEMA website.