Parkside feels the shock of Harvey and Irma

Hurricane Irma leaves homes devastated. 


For the past few weeks, deadly Hurricanes have ripped through the headlines and through the skies.

Their impact has taken a toll on individual counties in the Caribbean, as well as those in our country.


It all started with Hurricane Harvey, a storm that hit in late August. Due to the magnitude of the storm and the stalled progression of its track, the city of Houston was absolutely devastated.  


Hurricane Irma hit next, striking the Caribbean, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida. According to the National Weather Service, the U.S. death toll stands at 31 and counting.

How is this effecting UW-Parkside?

UW-Parkside students with loved ones in these areas are worried and desperate for answers. Wilfreda Kramer, a junior at UW-Parkside, expressed concern for her friend, who was left stranded in Saint Martin for five days.  “I was very scared for her,” she stated.  “I kept scrolling through Facebook to see if she would post any updates but I didn’t see much. I just wanted to make sure she was alright.”  

Unfortunately, Kramer was not the only one struggling. Derek Fye, a senior, explained feeling “powerless” as he learned that Irma was headed for his family in Florida. He said that “I was concerned for their safety and knew that I couldn’t support them in the way that I would have liked to.”  

The aftermath

Sadly, many families feel the same defeat. Many of hurricane victims remain trapped in their homes, most without food, water or electricity.  Thousands of Americans fear that their loved ones could be among the stranded or deceased.

Fortunately, Fye has since learned that his family is all right but he does not know “how much property damage they are dealing with yet.”  

Kramer, however, was somber as she recanted her friend’s turmoil.  “The Puerto Rican Government was able to fly her out of Saint Martin but she cannot go home because her house in Florida is destroyed,” she explained.  When asked if parts of her property were salvaged, Kramer conveyed that she had nothing. She shared that “People keep asking her what she needs and she says, ‘I need clothes!  I don’t have any clothes!’”

More students added to this concern, as they explained that their families’ livelihoods are hanging in the balance. Kelly McCormick, a senior here at Parkside, expressed, “I’m not sure if my cousins recycling business can withstand the storm.”

McCormick’s cousin, who is in his late twenties, just started his own business.  However, his family fears that the loss of clientele and equipment could set him back.

“He’s not some wealthy guy. He can’t fund a comeback! His livelihood could be in jeopardy.” McCormick pleaded

Hope lives on

However, the few students at UW-Parkside who grieve for those so far away have not lost hope.  “Something like this impacts you in such a major way,” Fye explained.  “But seeing the donations put forth by so many Americans, has been very encouraging and reassuring.”  Some students may think that the hurricanes have no effect on those so far away but for others, it hits very close to home.

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