News News Stories — 31 October 2017
News: Hurricanes affect staff, students in local community

Natural disasters often occur with little or no warning and cause endless amounts of destruction. Recently, many hurricanes have slammed the South, but their devastation does not end within the region.

Hurricane Harvey was the first of the massive storms to arise, which struck Texas in September, followed closely by Hurricanes Irma and Maria, which hit Florida and Puerto Rico. Many people in the Rock Creek community have been affected by the recent damages in the South.

“We [my parents and I] were all worried about our distant family who lived in Florida, who were staying in Dodge City for a few weeks,” sophomore Taylor Lembright said. “We wanted them to be safe, so we suggested they stay with us until the hurricane had passed.”

School Resource Officer Christian Torres was also affected by the storms, with his mother living in Puerto Rico, which was affected by the recent Hurricane Maria, and his sisters living in Key West, Fla., which was affected by Hurricane Irma.

“The first week, almost two weeks, were pretty difficult because we didn’t have any contact with them,” Torres said. “We didn’t know if they were okay, if the houses were okay or really what was going on at all. Once we made some contact with them, things were much easier.”

While hurricanes are predictable, the amount of damage they can cause is not able to be planned.

“My family lives in the northwest part of the island [Puerto Rico],” Torres said. “It’s a pretty rural and mountainous area, so the flooding was not as bad as it was in other parts of the island, however, there was a lot of vegetation, and many old homes were destroyed.”

Adding to the unpredictability that storms bring, some homes in the areas were completely unharmed.

“As far as I know their house was untouched,” Lembright said. “I don’t think they came back to any damage at all.”

No matter what happens in the directly impacted area, the ripple effect hurricanes have will be felt in many other areas, according to Current Issues teacher Mike Zabel.

“The storms are causing the prices here to increase,” Zabel said. “It is just something that happens every time we have something like this happen. The price of lumber will increase, and so will the price of gas.”

Article and photo by Natalie Lindsey, Newspaper Editor in Chief

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