A horrific natural disaster struck when Hurricane Ida made landfall in Louisiana on Sunday, Aug. 29. With Ida wreaking havoc only a few states over, members of the Maclay community share their own perspectives on the disastrous event.
As an initial category four hurricane, Ida had the strongest impact on the south-eastern region of the United States. The storm swept through several states, including Louisiana, Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi, Tennessee, Kentucky, West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland, New York and Delaware. In Louisiana specifically, the collision resulted in significant infrastructure damage, mass loss of power, extreme flooding and depleted resources.
“I’ve never had my home destroyed,” sophomore Katherine Gorkov said. “I’ve never lost anyone due to natural disasters, so I can’t even begin to imagine how they would feel.”
In its earlier stages, Ida began as a tropical depression in the Caribbean Sea. The storm then developed into a category one hurricane when it passed over Cuba the Friday before its landfall. Ida continued to grow to the magnitude of a category four hurricane as it traversed the waters of the Gulf of Mexico and started to approach Louisiana. Due to the hurricane’s close proximity, Florida also monitored its path early on, a habit many members of the Maclay community have become accustomed to.
“The site that I look at for data showed me [Ida] forming,” science teacher Dr. William Perry said. “I knew about it before it formed. None of the models showed it coming here, so I wasn’t worried.”
The category four hurricane had its first collision with the United States that Sunday, making landfall in Louisiana. As Ida passed through Mississippi on Monday, the hurricane regressed into a tropical storm and then a tropical depression once again. The storm continued to weaken throughout the week as it moved across the remainder of eastern states in its path.
“Even if [the hurricane] is not bad, the areas aren’t ready to take an impact,” Dr. Perry said. “New York saw a lot of flooding, which by then [Ida] was not a strong storm, but they’re not built for that kind of activity. That’s always very sad.”
While technology hasn’t advanced enough so that hurricanes can be prevented, highly affected areas, such as Louisiana, took certain steps to prepare before the landfall of Hurricane Ida. On a government scale, Louisiana was supplied with reinforcements from the National Guard, state fire marshal, shelter services and on-duty assistance for extensive power outages.
Individual residents of the state stocked up on medicine, food and water. Many evacuated the area and traveled to a safer location. As Floridians, these precautions have been taken by the Maclay community throughout several hurricane seasons in the past decade.
“[I’ve done] the general things [to prepare], definitely not as much as other communities right in the center of it,” senior Hannah Leatzow said. “My family normally sets out a plan to stay at home, do a lot of shopping beforehand and get our water [and] dried goods.”
After dealing with powerful storms like category five Hurricane Michael, the Maclay community is familiar with the devastation these natural disasters can cause. All across the country, support has been given to aid Louisiana and other states that have suffered severe impact from Hurricane Ida.
“[I’m] sending a lot of love and hope towards them,” Leatzow said. “Looking back at other hurricanes and their damage and how communities have bounced back from that, I think that other communities can be hopeful knowing that they can also do the same.”