Rebuilding After Hurricane Irma
Written by Marcela Royo
Hurricane season is nowhere near its end, and there have already been two major hurricanes that have left catastrophe in their wake. The most recent, Hurricane Irma, has left multiple islands in the Caribbean and cities in Florida in ruins.
My hometown, Miami, Florida, is one of the many cities that faced heavy rains and rapid winds. Luckily for us, news stations gave us a week’s notice to make preparations. Because the hurricane hit on Labor Day weekend, the food and drinks my city bought for the celebration turned into a hurricane prevention stash.
My parents were able to evacuate the city alongside many others who flew to other states after covering the shutters and leaving their homes. But leaving the city did not erase the fears and anxiety they felt. Having such advance notice was a good thing, but the long waiting period only heightened the unease brought on by the arriving storm.
Each day, the hurricane moved more to the west or to the east, enlarging the range of possible destruction. In preventive measures, the city shut off all power, leaving many with no ability to communicate with those on the outside. Not being able to hear from friends on their status with the storm had me on edge.
Fortunately for those in Miami, who were predicted to receive the worst of the storm, the eye of the hurricane had moved west at the last minute. It missed the city by a thread.
This is not to say that Miami was completely safe. Downtown Brickell, Key Biscayne and other areas faced massive flooding which caused trees to uproot and land in streets and homes. The city is still cleaning up the debris.
My parents have since returned home to broken fences, fallen trees and power which has only recently returned. Miami did not receive the destruction felt by islands in the Caribbean, but it is still important to call attention to the effects of this disaster.
Destruction like this requires communities to come together to rebuild their homes and lives. My family will be a part of that process.
Edited by: Elyse Notarianni