The strongest hurricane in 25 years: Hurricane Irma hits Florida


Classified as a Category Five hurricane, Irma hit the peninsula of Florida the morning of September 10. The only Network school located in Florida, the Carrollton School of the Sacred Heart, was closed September 7 through September 18 due to flooding, high winds, and power outages.

The Carrollton School of the Sacred Heart is located in Miami, Florida.
Daisy Steinthal ’19

A Category Five hurricane had not threatened Florida since Hurricane Andrew in 1992. However, with Irma’s forecast, people were expecting a storm far worse than Hurricane Andrew. Florida Governor Rick Scott broadcasted a warning September 8 to the state about the potential dangers of Hurricane Irma.
In an interview conducted by the Wall Street Journal, Governor Scott said, “This is a catastrophic storm that this state has never seen.”
Before reaching Florida, Hurricane Irma battered the United States Virgin Islands, Anguilla, St. Martin, and Cuba, leaving behind a path of destruction and devastation.
Category Five hurricanes such as Irma maintain winds of over 157 miles per hour, according to  Hurricane Irma exceeded the requirements for a Category Five hurricane, with wind speeds up to 185 miles per hour, according to
People along Florida’s coast prepared themselves for the hurricane, abiding by the mandatory evacuations issued by Governor Scott for areas such as the Florida Keys, according to 
Home to more than 2.7 million people, Miami-Dade County in southern Florida was in Irma’s immediate path. Miami-Dade Mayor Mr. Carlos Giménez warned the county that an evacuation could be imminent, according to The New York Times.
The Carrollton School’s basketball court, athletic fields, and playground during Hurricane Irma.
Courtesy of Mrs. Arlette Nuñez-Menocal, Carrollton School of the Sacred Heart ’95.

The Carrollton School, located on the coast of Miami, did not have a mandatory evacuation, but still took precautions to prevent damage.
Head Master of the Carrollton School Mr. Olen Kalkus said that the school’s maintenance staff tied the windows and doors closed, but the wind snapped some of the straps, allowing rainwater to flood the buildings.
“I think everyone here knew that it was a matter of time for a hurricane to come across Florida again,” Mr. Kalkus said in a phone interview. “We couldn’t avoid what they were saying on the news.”
There were some damaging effects of the hurricane such as fallen trees, flooded facilities, and loss of electricity. Mr. Kalkus said that the athletic fields suffered the most damage and that the storm surge managed to wash a sailboat onto the fields.
School resumed at the Carrollton School Tuesday, September 19. Any debris washed onto the athletic fields during the storm was cleared, and Carrollton’s students are now using the fields. Mr. Kalkus said that Florida witnessed people from across the United States working together in a time of crisis, as electrical crews from Chicago, Detroit, and Boston were the ones to ultimately restore Carrollton’s power.
“We’re very mindful of the fact that though [Hurricane Irma] was not good, it could’ve been much worse here,” Mr. Kalkus said. “That’s something that we have to be thankful for.”
– Sydney Kim, Staff Writer