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Hurricane Idalia hits Florida, SJS community reacts

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Hurricane Idalia struck Florida on Aug. 30, destroying over 16,000 homes and causing an estimated $12–$20 billion in damages.

Unlike its name, the Sunshine State suffers from terrible hurricanes—most recently, Hurricane Idalia, a Category 4 hurricane that hit near Keaton Beach, Florida, on Aug. 30— the first major hurricane to hit the Apalachee Bay Coastline since 1851.

Upper School Counselor Ashley Le Grange lived in Florida her entire life before moving to Texas in 2018. Hurricanes have shaped who she was even as a little girl, and she vividly remembers the aftermath of Hurricane Andrew in 1992, a Category 5 hurricane. She recalls her fourth grade teacher whose entire home was destroyed except for only a toilet.

“My mom and I did a bunch of volunteering to help people who had been impacted by the hurricane,” Le Grange said. “That became a big part of my life—I’ve always volunteered to support, help and show up.” 

Hurricane Idalia destroyed over 16,000 homes with its record-breaking winds gusting up to 125 miles per hour, causing chemical spills and ripping the roof off gas stations. According to Moody’s, the hurricane caused an estimated $12 to $20 billion in damages.

“The scariest thing about hurricanes is not the hurricane, but the damage afterwards,” Le Grange said.

According to the Environmental Defense Fund,  the warmer climate has caused stronger hurricanes. Climate change has contributed to the insurance crisis in Florida by exacerbating large insurance payouts, according to The Palm Beach Post.

Idalia even affected Disney World, located in Orlando, which had to temporarily shut down their Typhoon Lagoon water park. As a way of saying thanks to first responders, they offering a discounted rate on Aug. 31. 

Houston extended a helping hand, too, by reciprocating the support they received in 2017 after Hurricane Harvey when Florida sent first responders to conduct rescue operations. Other groups were on stand-by to help, including the Cajun Navy, a group of volunteers who helped after Hurricane Harvey, and were prepared to assist Florida after Idalia. 

“After hearing about Hurricane Idalia,” freshman Andy Trejo Escalona said, “I thought about Harvey and how much our city suffered and how no one else deserves that.”

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About the Contributors
Isabella Adachi
Isabella Adachi, Staff Writer
Isabella Adachi ('27) joined The Review in 2023. She has watched Gilmore Girls all the way through three times.
Nia Shetty
Nia Shetty, Staff Writer
Nia Shetty ('27) joined The Review in 2023 as a freshman. She loves her dogs, Chuy and Casper. Her favorite TV character is Dr. House, whose unconventional approach to solving cases makes her laugh all the time.

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