Students Affected by Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma
By Emily Schuelein
Hurricane Harvey, a Category 4 hurricane, hit Texas Aug. 25, according to World Vision. Parts of Texas and Louisiana suffered from widespread catastrophic flooding with approximately 10,000 rescue missions around Houston.
On August 30, Tropical Storm Harvey became a tropical depression and continued to flood parts of Texas, Louisiana and Arkansas.
According to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, a tropical storm occurs when cyclonic circulation becomes more organized and maximum sustained winds bust between 39 mph and 73 mph. A tropical depression, however, forms when a low pressure area is accompanied by thunderstorms that produce a circular wind flow with maximum sustained winds below 39 mph.
Harvey passed through Tennessee and Kentucky before dissipating.
Hurricane Irma, a Category 4 storm, began September 10, 2017 in Florida, according to World Vision. By September 11, Irma weakened to a tropical storm as it moved toward Georgia and Alabama. Later that night, Irma weakened to a tropical depression, and by September 13, dispersed over Tennessee.
The National Hurricane Center cited Hurricane Irma as the strongest hurricane ever recorded in the Atlantic basin outside of the Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico.
“The Puget Sound Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) raised more than $1,500 for hurricane relief with a rummage sale. SAAC will donate the proceeds to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief. SAAC members gathered old Puget Sound gear and sold more than 250 items during the football game” on September 9, Logger Athletics website cites.
Several University students and their families were affected by Hurricane Harvey.
“My immediate family is from Austin… [they] had to evacuate to a higher point in Houston to stay safe from the rising water levels. In the first two weeks they were without food and water, so they had to rely on their supplies. There seems to have been a greater sense of community, to make sure everyone had food and water, [through events] like barbeques,” sophomore Thomas Brocato said.
“[My family] kinda stocked up before the hurricane, not knowing how bad it would get and it took a couple days for them to really get out of the house and go do things like that. They were still able to send me text messages and stuff. I don’t think they lost power. Coincidentally, [the hurricane] was during the first week of school,” sophomore Cameron Fisher said.
“They had a few days’ warning. It wasn’t easy for them to drop everything and leave their jobs. It’s been kinda difficult. At the time I was able to call my aunt, cousins and grandparents and make sure they were alright,” Brocato said.
“I am from Houston but we live far enough North of downtown, and sort of the areas that were affected the most. My parents got a lot of rain and a decent amount of wind and there was some flooding around the local area where we live but nowhere nearly as bad as some of the stuff that made the news,” Fisher said.
“Please donate to hurricane relief. Some families are still without power, I think my stepsister still is, which is crazy because she has a baby. They are all back in Miami and they are all trying to get back to normal life. We had a lot of trees fall down,” junior Caroline Ronveaux said.
Sarah Shives, the Assistant Dean of Students, sent out an email to students with home addresses on file that indicated that they or their families had been affected by the hurricane. Shives listed resources for students to contact including: Dave Wright, University Chaplain and Director of Civic Engagement, Counseling, Health, & Wellness Services (CHWS) walk-in hours for screenings with a counselor, the Dean of Students Office and Resident Directors.
“I’m not aware of any parallel messaging that may have gone out to faculty and staff. I know I did not receive such a message. However, Puget Sound employees have access to EAP (Employee Assistance Program) services as an avenue of support,” Donn Marshall, Director of CHWS said.