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The Day Florida Stood Still

Robert Groscurth, Staff Writer

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imageLast Thursday Florida was hit with one of the worst hurricanes in over a decade. Meteorologists began to track Invest 97L towards the end of September. Over the next few days the newly formed tropical wave began to make its way across the Atlantic towards the Caribbean, especially Haiti. It quickly picked up speed, becoming Tropical Storm Matthew. Soon after it became a force to be reckoned with, the category 5 hurricane that we all know too well.  According to the weather channel, “At least 1,039 deaths have been attributed to the storm, including 1,000 in Haiti, 1 in Colombia, 4 in the Dominican Republic, 1 in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and 33 in the United States, making it the deadliest Atlantic hurricane since Stan in 2005, which killed more than 1,600 in Central America and Mexico.” Hurricane Matthew was so devastating that Disney World closed down on Friday in anticipation of the storm. For those not as enthusiastic about Disney as many other Floridians are, DISNEY NEVER CLOSES.  The storm battered and bruised the east coast of Florida for close to a day and a half. The widespread damage occurred from Miami and West Palm Beach all the way to Daytona Beach and St. Augustine, continuing up the coast through Georgia and the Carolinas. Almost half a million people were, and still are, without power due to Hurricane Matthew. Hillsborough and many of its neighboring counties closed schools on Thursday and Friday due to the storm. Although we were not directly affected by the storm here in Tampa, many schools along the west coast were used as refuge for people evacuating the east coast in need of a safe place to stay. As of last Tuesday, Florida governor Rick Scott declared a state of emergency for Florida. The governor urged for Florida citizens to “make sure to have three days of food and water, flashlights, batteries and a battery powered radio.”  Soon to follow, on Thursday evening President Barack Obama also declared a state of emergency for Florida, allowing for federal aid in the restoration from the damage caused by Hurricane Matthew. Although work has already begun well on its way, some Floridians are expected to be without power for over a week.

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The Day Florida Stood Still