Hurricane Irma impacts Berry students, families

Jessie Goodson, Campus Carrier News Editor

Tree R.jpg
Hurricane Irma brought strong winds and rain that caused a tree to fall on Mountain Campus on Monday. No roads were blocked and no severe damage was done on Berry’s campus.

Hurricane Irma brought flooding and destruction to much of the Southeast. Schools were closed, roads were blocked and citizens were encouraged to stay indoors. 

Many Berry students are from the southern areas that were impacted and had families in the middle of the storm. Andrew Elgin, a junior from Naples, Fl., said his hometown was hit hard, but his family remained at home. To prepare, they put shutters in place and secured anything that could fly away. 

“My house is fine, my family is fine, but almost every single tree is down,” Elgin said.

No severe damage was done to Elgin’s home, but a tree fell on the hood of his car. He said that Naples has been hit with storms like this in the past, so they knew how to prepare.

Junior Carson Oakes is from Tampa Bay, Fl., and said his family did not evacuate. The last time his hometown was hit with anything as large as Irma was over a decade ago. 

Sophomore Courtney Clark, from Tallahassee, Fl., said that her hometown is okay, but her relatives further south may have received severe damage to their homes. 

“My family in Miami evacuated, and they don’t know if their house is still standing,” Clark said. 

Clark’s relatives won’t know the extent of the damage done until they return home. This is also the case for Clark’s friend, who attends Florida Southern University in Lakeland, Fl. 

“My best friend doesn’t know when she’s going to be able to go back to school,” Clark said.

When preparing for the storm, Clark’s family had to keep a close watch on their horses, and the fences surrounding them. They also went to the store to buy water, but it was all gone, so they filled bathtubs with water in case of an emergency.

Local grocery stores in Rome were also out of basic essentials, but the power remained on at Berry, so students had access to clean water and food.

Dean Heida sent out emails to students from coastal Georgia and Florida assuring them that Berry would do anything they could to help and wished their families the best. 

Berry made the decision to cancel classes and close campus Monday due to the weather, but resumed Tuesday. 

Students were encouraged to stay indoors Monday as much as they could until the worst of the weather was past. This weather mostly consisted of strong winds and heavy rain, which knocked down a tree on Mountain Campus, but no severe damage was done. 

Leave a Reply