Hurricanes Sweep the Nation

The eye of Hurricane Irma, which devastated many Caribbean islands and parts of Florida, causing over one hundred fatalities.

via Creative Commons

The eye of Hurricane Irma, which devastated many Caribbean islands and parts of Florida, causing over one hundred fatalities.

Elizabeth Bentsianov, Contributing Writer

In the last few weeks, a slew of vicious hurricanes have battered our nation. Coastal cities and islands have been left in ruins, resulting in many injuries and tragic deaths. Throughout the country, shelters are overcrowded as people seek aid. Rescue workers continue to help people evacuate and find shelter. With difficult times still lying ahead, the states and islands affected by these hurricanes are in desperate need of assistance.

People all around the world are lending aid and prayers to those affected by these treacherous hurricanes. As a community, Poly is also trying to help. One of Poly’s history teachers, Elijah Sivin, organized a blood drive to help those affected by Hurricane Harvey.

In accordance with Poly’s mission of building character and leadership skills, we must try our best to respond to this crisis with not only financial responses, but also visible ones. A blood drive was the perfect way to do this. As a school, we collected over thirty-five pints of blood that will be sent to New York Blood Center. From there, the blood will be distributed to multiple places such as Texas, where no blood drives have been hosted in the last few weeks.

Since blood expires after a few weeks, this was a perfect short term response to help victims injured in the horrific flooding and severe winds of Harvey. Although no one person can solve this substantial problem, as a community we can try to aid those suffering in Texas.

These recent hurricanes have crippled our nation and left many of our states in ruins. However, if we work together as a community, we can lend our aid one donation at a time.

Hurricane Harvey made landfall on August 25th near Rockport, Texas. Harvey was a Category four hurricane with severe wind speeds of 130 mph. This horrific hurricane was one of the worst storms to make landfall in America in over twelve years.

The storm’s slow movement through Texas led to catastrophic flooding. Thousands of homes and businesses were completely destroyed. Because shelters throughout Texas were overcrowded, some furniture stores allowed people to sleep on the display beds and couches.

In the aftermath of the hurricane, there have been numerous oil spills and explosions in a dangerous chemical plant. Some suspect that oil contaminated the city’s reservoir, and the explosions at the chemical plant released toxic fumes into the air, sending over ten people to the hospital. Although the hurricane is over, the death toll has continued to rise with 45 deaths already counted.

Despite the massive damage in Texas cities, they are slowly starting to recover. Houston’s public transportation resumed on a limited basis, and trash pick-up will start to collect heavy debris. Also, schools in Houston are planning to start within the next week. However, due to severe damage many students have been placed into different schools.  

Next in the recent onslaught of hurricanes was Hurricane Irma. This hurricane has already torn through the Caribbean, completely destroying Barbuda, St. Maarten, St. Kitts, St. Thomas, the Dominican Republic, Turks and Caicos, the Bahamas, and Cuba.  All of these places have experienced loss of power, flooding, and destruction of property.

Hurricane Irma then proceeded to the United States with Florida receiving widespread destruction. Significant parts of the Florida Keys were decimated by Irma’s wrath. Irma ripped through these small islands, eventually making landfall on Florida’s Gulf Coast as a category four storm.

Residents braced themselves, but flooding and power outages have already occurred across the state.  The combination of heavy rain and severe wind has torn down buildings and taken out major power grids. Miami was also affected by flooding and whipping winds from the vicious storm. Rescue teams prepared to help victims once the worst of the storm has passed.

Even though the worst of the storm has passed, we must keep working to help those affected. Together we can unify our nation and make it strong once again.

Poly students can donate items to aid hurricane relief in Puerto Rico. Items that can be donated are baby food, feminine hygiene products, batteries (D batteries preferred), first aid supplies and diapers (these items only). The donation bin is located in the front entrance.