Hurricane Florence

Joe Clark, Staff Writer

On Friday Sept. 14th, category-three Hurricane Florence made landfall near Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina. From the second it hit land, Florence began causing catastrophe on the East Coast. Although the storm seemed to be far from New York, jet streams were predicted to push the storm towards the northeast. 

The remnants of the battered storm hit the Long Island area on Monday, Sept. 17, and Tuesday, Sept. 18, eventually ending with clear skies on Wednesday. As the storm grew closer to Port Washington, the area was hit with heavy rain and wind.

“The storm was a lot worse in other places than it was in New York, and we should be grateful it wasn’t too bad,” said Port Washington resident Ms. Jean Karo. 

Hurricane Florence caused severe devastation at its peak, flooding the streets of numerous states. An updated death toll reports that 42 people have died in the storm, 26 of whom are residents of North Carolina alone. The affected regions in Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina, closed all public schools during their “state of emergency” periods. 

Many former Schreiber students attending universities in the South were forced to evacuate due to the Hurricane. 

“It was a little scary being told to leave school, but I’m glad to be home safe and I’m excited to go back and see some of my friends,” said former Schreiber student, Taylor Sweeney, who now attends the University of South Carolina. 

Port Washington was not nearly as affected by the Hurricane as was initially expected. Florence was supposed to have hit the Long Island area as a category-two storm. Luckily, though, the Hurricane died down as it worked its way North. 

“My family and I definitely expected the storm to be worse. We brought all of our outdoor furniture inside and tied down umbrellas,” said senior Ava Sann.  “I’m happy that it wasn’t what was at first predicted.”  

However, the rest of the East Coast was not as fortunate. On Friday, Sept. 22, South Carolina’s Waccamaw River set a flood record projected to keep rising- in turn threatening lives, neighborhoods, and infrastructure. Already, more than 6,000 National Guard soldiers and thousands more federal disaster-response workers have been sent to help in the region. 

Teaming up with state and local governments, federal officials now have the responsibility of managing serious challenges as they attempt to rebuild a vast area that covers large areas of farmland, tourist attractions, and sections already coping with deep rural poverty. 

“I feel horrible for my friends that were hit by Florence, especially since so many of them just left for college and are in new environments. It’s scary,” said senior grader Caitlin Kane. 

Although Florence is fading, many people will still be left to deal with all of the destruction that it left behind. It is now up to Port Washington as a community to reach out to those who were hit hardest by the hurricane, especially because Port residents can relate to dealing with the aftermath of a natural disaster. It was not so long ago that Storm Sandy hit Long Island with devastating consequences.