RPI RELIEF - Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria

RPI Relief: Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, & Maria

In late August 2017, Hurricane Harvey formed in the Gulf Coast and struck the southeastern coast of Texas, where it stalled and dumped records amount of rain, causing flooding in the entire region, including in Houston, the fourth most populous city in the country. Just two weeks later, Hurricane Irma formed in the Atlantic, and its destructive winds destroyed everything in its path from St. Martin, Barbuda, the US Virgin Islands, the northern coast of Puerto Rico and Cuba before changing course towards Florida. Having regained strength, its destructive winds, rain, and resulting storm surge then cut across the Florida Keys and headed north through the entire state of Florida, and then into Georgia and South Carolina.

The following week, the region was spared the hurricane force of Hurricane Jose, which on Wednesday, September 20 was spinning in the Atlantic Ocean 140 miles south of Nantucket Island with tropical force winds. Forming just behind Jose, however, was Hurricane Maria, which has proven to have the most powerful winds on record. Following a similar path as Irma, the clocked 185 mph winds, rain and storm surge are revisiting many of the same islands as Irma did including the US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. However, just as Irma touched the entire state of Florida, Maria, a storm which is twice the size of Puerto Rico is expected to spend hours over that island with sustained winds of over 100 mph, dumping over two feet of rain and increasing the threat of landslides throughout and storm surge across the entire territory. By 2 p.m., the entire island of nearly 3.5 million people had lost electricity.

Harvey, Irma and Maria made landfall as Category 4 hurricanes. Thanks to lessons learned from previous storms, emergency planning before Harvey and Irma helped to minimize the loss of life in their wake, but the damage caused by their destructive forces will have long-lasting human and economic impacts on the people who live in the impacted communities, as well as all Americans who have relatives living in these areas, and who depend on all the vital goods and resources produced in Texas and Florida. The experience of the Caribbean islands differs in that evacuation is not an easy option in preparation for catastrophic storms. The islands of St. Martin, Dominica, the US Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and others, and the people who call these islands home will take years to recover from the 2017 hurricanes.

Hurricane season lasts through November 30, and it is far from over. Maria and Jose are not done yet. Current projections of their paths indicate that they may impact the eastern coastal region of the United States in the last week of September.

RPI Relief: Harvey, Irma and Maria has been mobilized to conduct activities within the Rensselaer Community to raise money in support of organizations working on the ground in Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico and the U.S.Virgin Islands, and other Caribbean islands impacted by the storms. Funds raised from these activities will be distributed to American Red Cross and to All Hands Volunteers

Activities and programs are currently being organized by SAE Fraternity, the Community Advocates, and Alpha Chi Rho Fraternity. RPI Relief meets weekly at 6 p.m. on Tuesdays in Academy Hall 4411 to discuss and develop collaborative efforts in support of this initiative. Everyone is welcome to attend.

For information on programs that are being hosted in support of RPI Relief: Harvey, Irma and Maria, bookmark this website, "like" the RPI Relief Facebook Page, or contact RPI Relief.

Last modified: Sep 20, 2017
Community Service, Phone: (518) 276-3098, Fax: (518) 276-4839