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Hurricane Irma causes massive damage to the Caribbean and Florida Keys

Vaishnavi Nayak, Staff Writer

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Hurricane Irma recently hit  the Caribbean and parts of southern United States. Irma caused catastrophic damage. It was the most powerful storm to strike the United States since Hurricane Katrina in 2005. It caused 61 deaths and was the strongest tropical hurricane in the world.

Irma developed as a storm of the coast of the Cape Verde Islands on August 30, 2017. It then quickly developed into a category 2 hurricane in the next twenty four hours. Irma soon became a major category 3 hurricane; although intensity kept fluctuating due to the eyewall replacement cycles. The hurricane continued to intensify, and on September 5, Irma was declared category 5 hurricane, the highest category a hurricane can reach. It reached it’s peak intensity on September 6 and had winds travelling up to 185 mph. It maintained those winds for 37 hours, a record duration for such a storm.

Hurricane Irma made landfall at Cuba. It then weakened back into a category 3 hurricane before regaining its intensity between Cuba and the Florida Keys. The storm eventually dropped back into a category 3 hurricane before turning into category 2 later that day. It was ultimately exhausted near the southeastern United States.

The hurricane caused massive amounts of damage in many locations. The damage caused left the roads in incredibly poor conditions, which made it incredibly difficult to provide help to many in the Caribbean and West Indies. Many countries including the U.S., Britain, France and Netherlands have sent aid.

The Island of Barbuda was the first to be hit by the storm and almost 90% of the buildings were destroyed. It left almost 50% of the population homeless and prime minister, Gaston Browne, said that the island was “barely habitable.” Saint Martin was also affected, and 70% of the Dutch side’s building were destroyed. The storm continued through the Bahamas, Turks, Dominican Republic and Greater Antilles, causing billions of dollars worth of damage.

The hurricane also reached the United States and caused the loss of 39 lives. It made an initial landfall at Cudjoe Key, Florida on September 10. The Florida Keys suffered major damage to buildings, trees, boats, and other property. 25% of the buildings in the Florida Keys were destroyed due to the storm. The electricity, internet connections, and cell phone connection also suffered considerable damage. Cities including Miami, Naples, and Everglades City were hit quite hard by the storm. Some were without power for more than three weeks.

The students at Mayfield Middle also helped in this time of crisis. The students participated in three spirit days held from September 13 to September 15. The students were able to raise $1330  from donations. There was also a  $200 donation from Coffey and Associates. These donations were collected to help Mike Davis Elementary School in Naples Florida, which had recently experienced the destruction of this storm.

This hurricane season has been very though and has been the only season to have two hurricanes making landfall at a category 4 intensity or more. There have been 7 hurricanes so far and 176 total fatalities.

If you want to help the victims of this hurricane you can  donate to these charitable organizations:

American Red Cross:  https://www.redcross.org/donate/hurricane-irma-donations

All Hands:https://www.hands.org/projects/hurricane-irma-response/

Americares:https://secure.americares.org/site/Donation2?df_id=17060&17060.donation=form1&_ga=2.182539874.577574322.1505141245-1308687355.1503858628

Convoy of Hope: https://www.convoyofhope.org/donate/

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The student news site of Mayfield Middle School
Hurricane Irma causes massive damage to the Caribbean and Florida Keys