Hurricane Devastation

Gabrielle DeFrangesco

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#hurricaneharvey #hurricaneirma #hurricanemaria #helphurricanevictims

      Destruction. Messes to clean up. Houses destroyed. No Power and no food. Loss of life. Hurricanes. Over the past month, Puerto Rico, The Leeward Islands, Florida, Texas, and many territories and areas were completely destroyed by hurricanes. Those devastating hurricanes were a great way that we, the community, came together to figure out a way to help the people affected.

      Hurricane Harvey was the first to come. It caused catastrophic flooding in Southwest Texas. Harvey was first named on August 17, but did not reach Texas until August 24. It hit landfall as a strong Category 4 with 130 mph winds, and sitting on the coast for many days. It brought heavy rain and hail across South Texas, causing record breaking flooding. According to, it brought 40-65 inches of rainfall. While Texas had mass flooding, that was extremely destructive, Southwest Louisiana also received heavy rain. Harvey began to travel back out to sea, people thought it was over. However, it was only the beginning.  It strengthened in the Atlantic Ocean to cycling itself right back into Texas where it once again sat for days bringing on much more rain than the state could handle. It eventually started weakened and moved North, as a Tropical Depression but triggered flash flood warnings in parts of Arkansas, Kentucky, and Tennessee. Hurricane Harvey was also responsible for eighty-three deaths, I send my prayer to people affected by Hurricane Harvey.  

      Hurricane Irma formed and was named on August 30th, traveling at 125 mph. It traveled as a Category 5 towards the Caribbean, becoming the longest lived Atlantic Hurricane, since Ivan in 2004. It eventually made landfall and the eye sat over Barbuda, causing catastrophic flooding on September 6th. According to , on September 6th, it was too early to tell whether Irma was going to impact the mainland of Florida, but worse came to worse and news reporters predicted that it was traveling North and up to Florida. Warnings started as they issued an emergency evacuation, in parts of Florida. This broke the record of being the largest evacuation in US history. It made landfall in Florida as a slow moving Category 3 hurricane with 74 mph winds, eventually turning into a Category 4 picking up to 125 mph winds. A hurricane warning had been issued along with concerns of devastating gales (strong winds), heavy rain, and a life-threatening storm surge (the ocean rises which causes flooding). It also created twenty-three foot waves on the coast of Florida. As Irma was moving away from Florida, it started weakening and on September 11th, it became a Tropical Storm. Hurricane Harvey and Irma are alike in some cases, they both caused heavy fatalities and damages beyond anyone can imagine. Harvey may have caused catastrophic flooding, but Irma had more fatalities, leaving 124 dead as of September 27th.  

      Although today it is a tropical depression, on September 19th it quickly had become a Category 5 hurricane near the Virgin Islands. Maria had not done any damage to the United States, but it had much greater impact near the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, which once again got hit by another hurricane. Maria was named as a Tropical Depression on September 17th and was quickly moving at 22 mph. It reached Puerto Rico on September 20 as a Category 4, leaving another devastating blow with the third hurricane in the area in a month. Maria left on September 21st, but not before leaving more flooding which caused further destruction of houses that were already in shambles. At least 95% of the island was without cell service and electricity, leaving them wondering when they would be able to get it back up. More devastation was about to be brought on,when on September 23rd, the Guajataca Dam, near Isabela and Quebradillas, could not handle any more water, started to break.  Almost 70,000 people on the island had to be evacuated because it was life-threatening. On September 27th, people  woke to screaming and pure darkness, when they heard that the dam had collapsed, which left ten dead. They said it would take months to get the electricity on but years to clean up due to multiple hurricanes that had struck Puerto Rico and surrounding areas. Maria is also blamed for thirty-four deaths in Puerto Rico, Virgin Island, and the Leeward Islands.

      When dealing with mass destruction and sorrow, we need to come together to donate.  What can you do? An organization called FEMA has come together and asked people for help. They have set up online cash donations for people to donate goods, and anyone seeking to volunteer can help out. If you would like to donate go to  and give assistance to people in need. This is a time to rise up and show that we care. If you would like to donate online to help hurricane victims, go to, or You can even go down to the places that were destroyed and help clean up in person. Please donate, the country needs to be repaired. You can really make an impact on someone’s day or even their life.