Feature In News OCTOBER 29, 2015 | The Jewish Home 42 The Week
Cleanup began in Miami as well. Although it was spared much of the hurricane’s wrath, many streets were covered in sand and fallen trees littered roads. Street signs and other debris blew in the wind. Thousands were left without power. Resident Joe Kiener said he has endured multiple hurricanes in the Caribbean but had never experienced a storm as brutal as Irma. “I’ve been in Miami Beach for two years, which is prone to flooding, but this is completely out of the norm,” Kiener told ABC News. Kiener boarded up his house and stayed at a high-rise hotel in Miami. But he had to move down to the lobby after his hotel room windows took a beating from the strong winds. “The windows started cracking, and these are massive-impact windows. They were exposed to 12 hours of continuous heavy winds. At one point in time, one of them started splintering and that’s when I lost my nerve and said, ‘I’m leaving,’” he said. “It psyches you out; it’s just the endless hallowing and pounding of the wind.”
esidents in Jacksonville were still standing in floods of water on Tuesday as the rest of the state commenced their cleanup. Driven by tidal flow, an already saturated inland waterway system and Irma’s powerful winds and rains, the swollen and fast-rushing St. Johns
River crashed over sea walls and sandbags and left much of the area underwater. Officials called the flooding “epic” and “historic,” with the river through this city of nearly 900,000 hitting levels not seen since 1846 — a year after Florida became a state. On Tuesday the city started to recover, but meteorologists warned that some flooding is likely to return as storm-generated waters rush south from the Carolinas toward the Atlantic Ocean. The St. Johns — 315 miles long and three miles wide at points — is expected to continue threatening communities in northeast Florida because the huge volumes of water the river is holding have no place to go, according to Angie Enyedi, an incident meteorologist with the National Weather Service. Hundreds of residents had to be rescued from the rising waters in Jacksonville and nearby communities after they chose not to heed pleas from local and state officials to flee the area ahead of Irma. “We hope the 356 people who had their lives saved yesterday will take evacuation orders more seriously in the future,” the Jacksonville sheriff’s office chided in a tweet on Tuesday. The evacuation order was lifted on Tuesday. Business owners returned to riverfront shops and restaurants to find sea grass, tree limbs and an inch of mud covering streets and
SEPTEMBER 14, 2017 | The Jewish Home
some sidewalks. By midday, the mud started to give off a strong odor as it baked in the hot sun. The area was hit by Hurricane Matthew last year but the results were different. Although the city was flooded by Matthew, with Irma the waters are just barely receding.
y Monday, Irma was no longer Hurricane Irma; it was downgraded to tropical storm status as it rumbled over the Florida-Georgia line and into the Deep South. As it entered Georgia it cut power lines, leaving more than 340,000 customers with no electricity, Georgia Power said. A state of emergency was declared and many school systems shut down for the day. Heavy winds and rain pummeled the region. Flooding and downed trees ravaged the state. At least three people died in Georgia by Irma’s wrath. One man died while lying in bed after a large tree broke and fell on his home. A woman was killed when a downed tree struck her vehicle. In South Carolina, waters were so high in some areas that it freed a famous local landmark – a boat that had been deposited along a road by Hurricane Hugo in 1989 and which had become a popular canvas for graffiti art, at Folly Beach. It came to rest against a dock whose owner managed to tie a line to it. “At its height, the storm generat-
ed a nearly 10-foot tide,” the Post and Courier reported about the Charleston area. “That was 4 feet more than normal and among the worst tidal surges in 80 years after Hugo in 1989 and a storm in 1940. It was about 8 inches higher than last year’s Hurricane Matthew.” Before the storm, state government offices were closed, and authorities circulated a guide on how to prepare for the deluge. Almost 52,000 people lost power. At least two people died in South Carolina: a 57-year-old man was killed after a tree limb fell on him and a 21-year-old died in a car crash. Meteorologists predicted that Wednesday would see heavy rain accumulations in parts of Florida, Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina, Mississippi and North Carolina from the residue of Irma. Tornadoes were also possibly expected.
y the end of the week, as the sun finally starts to shine and the waters hopefully recede, many will be left facing wreckage. They will be forced to clear the destruction and work together on rebuilding after the devastation brought by Irma. How long will it take? How much effort and resources will be needed? Time will only tell as they take a deep breath and begin the long, intense process of building anew.
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