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Hurricane Matthew’s tragedy hits close to home for students

Cecil Robinson
Staff Writer
cecil.robinson@hawks.shorter.edu

Junior nursing major Jasmine Crump said she was worried for her family members in Florida as the storm skirted the Florida coastline.

Hurricane Matthew started to hit areas of the Southeast, the Caribbean and Haiti on Sept. 28, and the storm continued to have an impact until Oct. 10.

“When I heard that the storm was drifting towards Florida, I immediately called my mother to make sure she was okay, but thankfully the storm didn’t damage the area where I live,” said Crump.

According to Weather.com, Hurricane Matthew rewrote history as the first Category 5 storm in the Atlantic since 2007.

While some schools went without being affected by the storm, the same can’t be said for Flagler College. According to flagler.edu, with much of the campus underwater and a lack of power-supply, the school had to close campus for five days. Sophomore Caleb Branham said his girlfriend had to evacuated her campus due to flood waters.

Hurricane Matthew’s flood waters caused $1.5 billion in damages to more than 100,000 homes, businesses and government building, according CNN.com.

Although the weather has improved, state officials still advise residents not to go near the water.

A week after the storm hit North Carolina, it was reported that the storm left a total of 26 people dead and more than 2,100 in shelters as a result of flood waters. In total, the hurricane caused about 45 deaths in the United States and around 1,000 in Haiti, according to huffingtonpost.com.

Crump said she empathizes with Haiti’s recent tragedies.

“The people of Haiti have been through so much in the past few years with the earthquake and now the hurricane,” said Crump.

With help from organizations such as the American Red Cross, relief to Haiti has been quick and impactful. Days after the storm hit parts of Haiti, the Red Cross put together 100 tons of relief items. Three cargo planes transported relief items including tarpaulins, emergency shelter kits, hygiene kits and mosquito nets, according to redcross.org.

Residents of the small community are evacuating in large numbers. Those left behind are either too sick to travel or are staying to care for loved ones.

Assistant Director of Student Life and Student Conduct Anthony Chatmon said the amount of death and destruction that Hurricane Matthew has caused is disheartening.

“It will take some time before everything can be rebuilt and before people can move on with their lives, but I know things will get better,” said Chatmon.