Mother Nature’s Wrath

Shadia Judeh

September 13th, 2017

Life jackets for a adult and a child from the remains of the old Cumberland Queen Ferry, which sank, are part of the debris littering the flooded main street after Hurricane Irma swept through the area on Monday, Sept. 11, 2017, in St. Marys, Ga. Numerous boats were destroyed after the towns docks were torn apart by the storm. (Curtis Compton/Atlanta Journal-Constitution/TNS)

Just a little over two weeks ago, Hurricane Harvey destroyed parts of the Caribbean, Latin America, Louisiana, and Texas, however, those who lived in Houston received the worst of the flooding that the storm had brought.

On August 25, Harvey created catastrophe as a category 4 hurricane with winds up to 130 mph.  A reported 27 trillion gallons of rain were poured down on Texas and Louisiana in six days.

During the week of Hurricane Harvey, the West Coast began to experience their own natural disasters. In California, Governor Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency as wildfires began to engulf three counties in northern California. Residents in Sunland-Tujunga, Glendale, and some parts of Burbank were ordered to evacuate immediately due to the fires.

There are currently more than 20 active wildfires in the state.  One of the first places to have lost thousands of acres of land in a wildfire was La Tuna Canyon. The acreage stood at 5,895 acres, according to Cal Fire officials. Officials also believe that the La Tuna Fire could possibly be the largest blaze by acreage in Los Angeles city history.

As California Firefighters worked to contain the fires on the West Coast, another Hurricane was on the rise.

Hurricane Irma, a tropical cyclone, reached a category 5 status with winds up to 185 mph, left a path of destruction in the Caribbean, and left thousands of people homeless.

The current death toll is at 27. In Puerto Rico, Irma passed, leaving more than 1 million residents with no power.

Cuba, however, was not so lucky as some places were left underwater and authorities in the city of Santa Clara said 39 buildings collapsed because of the category 5 hurricane. Before arriving to Florida, Irma was downgraded to a category 3 hurricane with winds of up to 120 mph. Floridians were told to evacuate so 6.3 million people packed up before the storm had arrived.

Irma first hit into the Florida Keys, but quickly after changed into a category 2. Unfortunately, it did not last long as it then jumped to a category 3 when it hit Marco Island. Hundreds of thousands of residents lost power down the Gulf Coast. As Irma begins to travel, Miami CNN’s Derek Van Dam reported from Miami Beach stating, “Anyone who didn’t heed to the evacuation orders here in Miami Beach, it’s time to bunker down… it’s time to take this storm seriously DO NOT come back to the evacuation zones. It has just begun, and it’s going to get worse.”

Both Miami and Jacksonville have experienced flooding and high winds. CNN reported that Miami streets turned into raging rivers and that the city’s airport is closed because of significant water damage.

As of September 11 more, than 6.5 million electric customers are without power in the Sunshine State.  As Irma begins to move, residents in Georgia are already starting to prepare themselves for the storm surge.

As Hurricane Irma makes its way through Florida, Hurricane Jose has moved away from the Caribbean and begins to move across the Atlantic according to the National Hurricane Center. Jose, is the 10th named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season.

Following the aftermath of these disasters, Saint Xavier University has created Cougar Cares. As a Catholic University, SXU creates a place where students, faculty, and the SXU community could help by donating. In the wake of the disaster of Hurricane Harvey, if you would like to support those affected by the storm the following is a list of charities you can contribute to: Team Rubicon, All Hands Volunteers, Houston Food Bank, Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston

Visit  for more information on Cougar Cares.

Shadia Judeh

News Writer

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