Two weeks ago, Hurricane Irma came through the Caribbean and southeastern United States, leaving devastating effects in its wake.
Irma passed along the Caribbean, Florida, Georgia and South Carolina with max wind speeds of 185 miles per hour, making it one of the strongest storms on record. It arrived in the Caribbean Islands at a Category 5, the strongest category of hurricane, and devastated thousands of homes.
According to the Weather Channel, Florida has already spent over $250 million on preparations and recovery efforts. Experts estimate that in total, Irma may have caused up to $200 billion in damage to property, buildings, businesses, and vital crops such as orange groves. The Federal Emergency Management Administration has said that 25% of houses in the Keys were completely destroyed, and another 65% were damaged. The numbers are even worse in the Caribbean, which was the first to receive Irma’s effects. Even a week after the hurricane passed through, FEDA and the U.S. Military were still helping people blocked in their homes by debris, and families are starting to run out of food and water due to power outages. In many places, that power has still not been restored.
As of Tuesday the 19th, there were still over 92,000 households in Florida that still did not have power back. There are 68 reported deaths due to Hurricane Irma. 32 of these were in Florida, including 8 residents in a Florida nursing home. Thousands have been left without homes.
Thankfully, not all is gloom and despair. The night of Monday the 11th, celebrities came out in droves for the Hand to Hand telethon, a fundraising event which drew in over $44 million for hurricane relief efforts. The FEDA, U.S. Military, the Dutch Red Cross, President Macron of France, and the British Parliament are all helping the Caribbean islands to recover after the storm by supplying rescue personnel and aid in restoring order to the islands.
By: Rachel Smith