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Hurricane Irma Affects Seminole

The+Altamonte+Springs+neighborhood+of+Spring+Oaks+experiences+major+flooding+on+Sept.+11.+The+Seminole+County+Fire+Department+came+to+transport+people+who+wished+to+leave+the+neighborhood.
The Altamonte Springs neighborhood of Spring Oaks experiences major flooding on Sept. 11. The Seminole County Fire Department came to transport people who wished to leave the neighborhood.

The Altamonte Springs neighborhood of Spring Oaks experiences major flooding on Sept. 11. The Seminole County Fire Department came to transport people who wished to leave the neighborhood.

Photo provided by: Thalya Samuels

Photo provided by: Thalya Samuels

The Altamonte Springs neighborhood of Spring Oaks experiences major flooding on Sept. 11. The Seminole County Fire Department came to transport people who wished to leave the neighborhood.

Thalya Samuels, Staff Reporter

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From Sept. 10 through Sept. 16, Category 2 Hurricane Irma wreaked havoc on Seminole County. Residents experienced flooding, power shortages and severe damage. Many were worried after being notified of the damage that took place in South Florida.  

Over seven million Floridians lost power and faced heavy rainfall due to Hurricane Irma. Seminole County experienced the brunt of the storm during the night of Sept. 10 and early morning of Sept. 11. Several adjustments to school dismissal were made in accordance to the forecast. On the evening of Sept. 7, Governor Rick Scott announced that all Seminole County Public Schools would be closed on Friday, Sept. 8 and Monday, Sept. 11.  Over the weekend, parents received a phone call announcing that school would be closed through Wednesday, Sept. 13. Ultimately, students ended up missing six days of school after classes were cancelled for the remainder of the week.  

“When I had first heard that classes would only be canceled through Wednesday, I was worried,” sophomore Allison Hubbart said. “I didn’t do any work [for class] because I had no Internet.” 

Inability to access the Internet was only one of the several inconveniences posed by the hurricane. Some families were forced to leave their homes due to neighborhood damage, but others who waited too long found that damage prevented them from vacating their homes in search of shelter. 

“We lost our power for a week and the Florida humidity forced us into a hotel,” Brantley parent Maria Hincapie said. “Clean up was a hassle and the return to school was a bit abrupt, but overall the transition was smooth.” 

Authorities who were monitoring the storm were uncertain of the impact that the storm would have on Seminole County. They did their best to prepare residents by anticipating the worst and urging people to board windows, buy supplies, or if necessary, evacuate. Seminole County Emergency Management posted updates about the hurricane on their website. All shelters opened on Saturday, Sept. 9.  

“Like everyone else watching the weather reports, we didn’t know where it would make landfall since the path which obviously shifted the night before,” Seminole County Public Schools communications officer Mike Lawrence said. “Thus, why we’re in constant communication with our local news meteorologists and Emergency Operation Center.” 

It was originally announced that the make-up days for Seminole County schools would be Oct. 16 and 17, Dec. 22, and March 16. After the start of school on Monday, it was announced on the Seminole County Public Schools website that two make-up days would be waived and only Oct. 16 and 17 would remain.  

“I think with the stress that it [Hurricane Irma] put on kids and their families emotionally and physically, everybody needs a break and that they probably deserve to only go for two days.” science teacher Jill Lannan said. “Many families will never get the time or money back.” 

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Hurricane Irma Affects Seminole