Caitlynd Born-Dohm, Staff Writer – Hurricane Irma, which devastated islands in the Caribbean and parts of southern Florida, was first classified as a hurricane in the early morning of August 31. By Sept. 5, it was a category five hurricane and by Sept. 6, it was hitting the coast of Barbuda. The storm itself lasted for a week or so after that, but the effects of its passing will be felt for a long time.
Lecanto High School [LHS] students were worried about the track the storm would follow in the days leading up to the school’s closure on Sept. 8.
“I think that there’s many possible courses that Irma could take and I believe that any course will be devastating,” said sophomore Bekkah Adams.
“Nature is unpredictable. It can hurtle towards us and turn away at the last second,” said senior Megin Young.
Citrus County itself was mostly spared, though many people lost power or water service for at least a few days. Many citizens living in South Florida were hoping for a such an outcome, but Irma did not prove merciful to many of them.
In severely affected areas in Florida, there has been plenty of aid and support available for struggling people. However, on islands of the Caribbean, there is no real system set up to provide relief to victims. Looting continues even weeks after Irma; it may take years for the economy to recover.
Guy Dohm, 53, who lives on St. Thomas island, endured the storm and now has to deal with the aftermath.
“The island is trashed; it’s a mess,” said Dohm two weeks after Irma.
Students at LHS are deeply concerned for the fates of those who were directly affected.
“My heart goes out to those who lost their homes and their loved ones during hurricane Irma,” said senior Laura Haynes.
“The cost that it is going to take to repair the damage is insane. I hope everyone who got hit by hurricane Irma is safe,” said freshman Samantha Prinner.
“The government should definitely send medical help and supplies for food and shelter,” suggested Young.
Senior Shane O’Leary had a heartfelt message for anyone in a dire situation because of the storm.
“Restore, rebuild, and stay hopeful,” said O’Leary.