The CHAT Staff Reacts: Hurricane Ian


A towering tornado looms over a shopping center as panicking cars attempt to evacuate the area. Tornadoes like these spawned over various parts of Florida as a direct result of Hurricane Ian. Photo Donated by: Valerie Questell

Rebecca Lim, Editor-in-Chief

Rebecca Lim, Editor-in-Chief: “I have to admit that I’m grateful for the break we got due to Hurricane Ian, but, at the same time, seeing the destruction and damage that it left behind in certain parts of Florida is harrowing. We should be really grateful that our area wasn’t impacted as much, although there were some heavy rains and strong winds, as well as power/internet outages. Also, hurricanes are a norm for long-time Floridians, but many people have moved here in the last couple of years, so I was worried about how they would act during their first major storm.”

Sam Miragliotta, Co-Managing Editor: “One thing I experienced frequently in my community was tornado flashes it was very terrifying. The latest one had been at 1am and a block away from my house. I even heard wooshing sounds from outside that resembled almost the sound of a train. I am just glad that we were able to get through this hurricane and stay safe.”

Marko Barrera, Co-Managing Editor: “Although my community wasn’t affected too much, I almost forgot what conditions a hurricane brings. Having to go through the motions of setting up shutters, stocking on necessities and such was refreshing in a way.”

Valerie Questell, News Editor: It was painful to witness the destruction and displacement. Not only was the hurricane painfully awaited but the tornado started the week off with chaos. Seeing my friends and family send me pictures of their neighborhoods and local areas that were once spotless, turned into complete darkness, made me feel a sense of despair as to what these natural events have in store for Florida.”  

Iris Lee, Student Life Editor: “Initially, I wasn’t too worried about Hurricane Ian. We’ve been through so many hurricanes before, and none of them really impacted us too much locally. However, after knowing that there were so many people struggling and the only thing I could do was sit in my house, I felt really helpless. I’m grateful that none of my family or friends were injured, but my heart still goes out to the many people who were.”

Sophia Lopez, Features Editor: “My family and I were nonstop watching the news for days on end. Since Irma in 2017, we’ve gotten a 5 year break. It’s shocking how here in southern Florida it wasn’t taken as a bigger deal, but on the west side it was extremely catastrophic and even comparable to Hurricane Andrew.” 

Marissa Levinson, Opinions Editor: “The news of Hurricane Ian making its path towards South Florida came suddenly, and I felt that from when we first heard about it to when we heard that two days of school were getting canceled happened in a short time frame. I’m grateful that we weren’t the direct hit of the storm, but hope that the people and places who were impacted by it more severely recover soon.”

Adam Abougendia, Sports Editor: “ While the days off were most definitely needed, the effects of a hurricane are never easy for anyone. I’m grateful that the storm didn’t take a toll on me or my family but my heart is out to those who were affected.”

Kara Warren, Clubs Editor: “After not having severe storms for a while, initially hearing the news about Hurricane Ian was pretty alarming. I was mainly worried for my family, especially my older sister who lives in the main area that would be affected. I’m grateful that we didn’t experience much damage, but my family’s traveling up-state soon to help out.” 

Rebekah Barrera, Arts & Entertainment Co-Editor: “I usually panic once I hear warnings about hurricanes, but Ian didn’t really scare me at first because the past storms changed directions at the last second. Once I started seeing pictures and videos of the strong winds, damaging floods, and my power went out for a split second, however, I started getting more scared for both my family and my friends. I’m so so lucky that my community wasn’t really affected badly by the storm!”

Lindsey Smith, Arts & Entertainment Co-Editor: The tornado warning alerts were a bit crazy as they were popping up every few minutes Tuesday night. My brother and three of his roommates evacuated from USF to my home so it was a bit chaotic with everyone here, but we were fortunate to not have lost power or have any bad damage. I know other parts of Florida had catastrophic damage, lots of flooding and power lines down, hopefully everything can get cleaned up and repaired relatively quickly.”

Daniel Morrison, Copy Editor: “My brother returned home in a frantic worry. His college, Florida Gulf Coast University, in Fort Myers, was in Ian’s direct path. However, here down south, the effects of Ian were pretty significant. Just north of me, a tornado zipped through a nearby Publix and the surrounding shopping center. In general, though, I was fortunate to be mostly out of Ian’s way.”

Mariana Ardila, Social Media Editor: “Even though the storm became a category 4 and brought tornadoes in my area, I am grateful that nothing happened to my family and I. We have been staying up with the news since we have family that live in Fort Myers that were drastically affected by the hurricane and didn’t have time to evacuate.”

Lucas Giron, Social Media Editor: “It has been many years since South Florida has been hit by a hurricane and fortunately we were not in the direct path, but we did feel the effects of the storm. The area I live got pretty banged up but luckily the only thing that happened to me was lost power. Prayers go out to all of the families who have been affected by Hurricane Ian.”

Alexia Rivera, Staff Writer: “Although hurricane Ian didn’t have much of an effect on my family and I, we almost lost power four different times and my backyard was extremely flooded. It’s insane to see the amount of damage others are experiencing.”

Brielle Gari, Staff Writer: “It was very devastating to see all the damage caused by the storm. Seeing videos of all the flooding was insane. I was in shock to see how bad it was only an hour and a half from my house. This storm is going to be really hard to come back from, but hopefully everything will get better.”

Olivia Ramos, Staff Writer: “I was very glad that I had a break, I was out of school for like 7 days straight and I was happy. I was scared though because my sister and grandparents live near northern Florida so I knew that there was some destruction to their houses. Luckily, there was little flooding in both residences. My house was clear from everything: flooding, electricity loss, internet not working, everything.  so I was really chilling the whole time.”

Mackenzi Charles, Staff Writer: “Even though I am happy we didn’t have school for 2 days, I am devastated to see the damages in other areas. Hearing about the images in other areas is very sad to hear, coinciding that we weren’t supposed to get hit at all. The hurricane switched its path so quick and it didn’t give time for others to evacuate. The result of  Ian is very sad to see.”

Alexandria Williams, Staff Writer: “ I had gotten an alert about a tornado in my area, but luckily, my area wasn’t affected as much. Although the storm was still very scary, I am glad me and my family are okay.”

Alexandra Kouropteva, Staff Writer: “My family and I were not affected by hurricane Ian we just had mild wind and rain. My siblings even swam in the pool and hung out with their friends outside, I was just inside watching movies.”

Isabella Cely-Garcia, Staff Writer: “For me, the scariest part of Hurricane Ian was definitely the tornado that touched down in Pembroke Pines. I’ve gotten tornado warnings before but it’d never felt that real before. Seeing the damage caused on social media afterwards was so impactful and I was worried for my friends in the areas most affected.”

Samuel Morillo, Staff Writer: “The news of the hurricane’s arrival were very out of the blue, and I’m not sure that anybody saw it coming.”

Anaum Hussain, Staff Writer: “The hurricane was terrifying, but the biggest problem that I faced was the tornado. It struck at North Perry Airport, which is less than three miles away from my house! It terrified me.”