Hurricane Matthew destroys hundreds of lives


Photo: Ryan Bergstrom

Hurricane Matthew survivor walks along the wreckage of what was once his home.

Leaving a path of carnage and devastation over the course of 13 days, Hurricane Matthew has left hundreds of people homeless, hopeless, and suffering.

The survivors of the storm are still in anguish from the flooding Hurricane Joaquin brought back in 2015. After rebuilding homes and businesses from last year, all of the flooding and wind damage Hurricane Matthew brought restarted the whole process.

Judy Cooke, a resident of 26 years in Bradenton, Florida, is disheartened by all of the flooding Hurricane Matthew brought, she told the Bradenton Herald. “There’s supposed to be one hundred year floods,” said Cooke. “And I can’t even count them.”

Many of the survivors are considering leaving their homes, so that they will no longer have to live in fear and deal with anymore of the damage that living on the East coast brings.

North Carolina resident Clelia Turbeville has been going through the wreckage that was once her home to try and salvage any of her belongings. Turbeville wants to leave her home, but she still has responsibilities that leave her stuck with a flooded home and a despairing heart. “I really don’t even wanna come back,” Turbeville said to reporter Brittany Peterson of the Bradenton Herald. “Because I am afraid it’s gonna happen again, but I have a mortgage so I have to come back.”

Many of the citizens in St.Augustine, Florida decided to stay in their homes and try to ride the storm out. Storing food for days, boarding up windows, and collecting supplies. To the Floridians, this is just another typical hurricane season.

Florida Governor Rick Scott spent days trying to evacuate the civilians of Florida, mostly failing in the process. He talked to the residents through news and social media, stating that the storm is a “monster” and that people need to get out of their homes.

“You still have time to leave. Get out,” said Scott to CNN. “There’s no reason to take a chance.”

Still, hundreds of these experienced hurricane survivors decide to stay in their homes, and consistently do not realize the long-term damage of riding these dreadful storms out year after year.

Fairmont high school’s catastrophic events teacher, Dustin Jordan explained how the flooding the hurricanes bring cause lifelong health problems. “People who get stuck in those areas and get mildew and mold start having long term health issues,” said Jordan. “When those spores get into your lungs, you get a lot of breathing issues, and they can get pretty bad.”

Hurricane Matthew started along the coasts of Haiti, hitting the small island with the brutal category five storm. Haiti’s rescue teams reported that at least 877 of their citizens have perished in the violent storm.

“I’ve been on my feet for two days without sleep,” Haitian resident, Dominique Osny, told AFP news agency. “We need to help each other.”

Osny was left dispirited after all of the destruction the storm left. “Everyone is a victim here, houses have been washed away, we lost all the roofing,” he said. “I lost everything, right up to my birth certificate.”

The people who have been affected by Hurricane Matthew are struggling and looking for someone to help. It’s never too late to save a life. Organizations like Red Cross, UNICEF, Blood Drives, and Fairmont high school’s Octagon Club.

“Our hearts go out to everyone affected by this devastating storm both in the Southeast and across the Caribbean. Too many lives have tragically been cut short, and tens of thousands of people have been displaced,” said Gail McGovern, president of the Red Cross.