The Peddie News

Devastation and Destruction: The Shattering Effects of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria

Nina Narayan '18

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Harvey, a category four hurricane, devastated several parts of Texas and other coastal areas earlier this month, affecting over 450,000 people and destroying at least 150,000 homes. The storm dropped approximately twenty-seven trillion gallons of rainwater on Texas and Louisiana in a six-day span, leaving over 72,000 people stranded and in need of rescuing and over 30,000 people permanently without homes.  Of those thousands, several Peddie students, their families, and friends were affected.


Peddie student and Houston resident, Nadia Bhatti ’19, recapped the devastation she has witnessed at home in the past few weeks: “We were in Austin, which is north of Houston, by the time the hurricane hit, but the area in Houston in which we live was pretty much flooded. We went back after the Hurricane with a few of our canoes to help rescue people (and pets,) but it was hard to do so in the constant rain.”


Harvey has not only affected the physical state of major cities such as Houston, but also forced local school systems to temporarily shut down and caused hospitals to struggle with caring for their patients.


“What was worse was that the entire hospital district was flooded through, and cancer patients like my dad couldn’t get the treatment they needed until the floodwater was cleared,” explained Bhatti.


The economic repercussions of such a catastrophe serve as yet another challenge Texas, as well as the other coastal areas affected, will have to face as they begin to rebuild.


Following Harvey, hurricanes Irma and Maria destroyed several island nations in areas such as the Caribbean, the Bahamas, Cuba, the British Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico, as well as affected regions of the Florida Gulf Coast. Although thousands of people evacuated the areas in danger of high winds, serious flooding, and power loss, the death toll for these storms is near, if not over, 100.


“Luckily my family in Guayama, Puerto Rico is ok, but they lost all power and will probably not have power again for a really long time,” said Angela Pinheiro ’18. Pinheiro also explained how communication with those in the affected areas was nearly impossible after the power outages occurred, and she was glad to hear that her family was safe.


Peddie student Olivia Maura ’20 was also affected by the severe storms. “The hurricane created a lot of uncertainty for me and especially my family back home in the Bahamas. My family was preparing for anything from moderate destruction to evacuation, and being away from home caused me to worry about if I would lose communication with my family and about what would be left, should a category 5 hit Nassau,” said Maura. .


With hurricane season continuing, and Peddie students/alumni all over the world, several families close to our community could be at risk.

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Devastation and Destruction: The Shattering Effects of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria