BY JOURNALISM 1 STUDENTS
After tearing a path of destruction through Haiti and Cuba and killing at least 11, Hurricane Matthew has set its sights upon the American Southeast. The Category 4 cyclone has the potential to become the most powerful storm to make landfall in the United States in nearly a decade, with winds reaching an astounding 145 miles per hour speed.
Bottled water, nonperishable foodstuffs, and other basic essentials have flown off the shelves and gas stations have been lined up for hours as many Floridians take the recommended precautions in preparation for the storm’s impact.
“Every hour, there is an update [on its] path…I’m taking it extremely seriously,” CCHS CTV teacher Alfredo Pichardo said. “Especially since they’re saying it’s going to be [hitting] the West Palm Beach area, less than 15 minutes from where I live.”
Florida Governor Rick Scott warned residents to prepare for power outages and evacuations after declaring a state of emergency and closing state offices in more than two dozen counties.
“If Matthew directly impacts Florida, there will be massive destruction that we haven’t seen in years,” Scott said. “[But] regardless if there’s a direct hit or not, the impacts will be devastating.”
In light of the declared state of emergency and issued hurricane warnings for Broward County, Palm Beach County, and Miami Dade County, all schools affected will be closed Thursday and Friday.
“[With the possible power outages] will come a lot of issues as I won’t be able to do my homework, I won’t be able to communicate with friends and family to know if they are okay,” CCHS senior Tatiana Ziadie said.
Hurricane Matthew is expected to take a path through the Bahamas before shifting towards Florida on Thursday. The storm weakened while traveling over the mountains of Cuba but is expected to regain strength while traveling over the warm waters of the Atlantic before it makes landfall in Florida, the National Hurricane Center reported.
Whatever damage Hurricane Matthew may end up doing, the School Board of Broward County has made it clear that student safety is a top priority.
Written by Angela Kermeur, Steph Mosa, and Sarah Lopez.