Bahamian students feel Hurricane Michael’s impact
As Hurricane Michael made landfall on the Florida Panhandle yesterday with life-threatening winds and flash flooding, Bahamian students were among those bracing for the worst.
Adah Deveaux, 24, a student at Florida A&M University in Tallahassee, said, “I originally thought the storm would only be a category one, but it quickly strengthened to a [category] four. My power also went out…and I [had] expected it to stay on.”
She said she felt “safe and calm” because she has experienced many hurricanes in the past.
“I am not scared. I live near downtown so [there are] not too many trees and my building is [made of] brick on the outside and [it’s] sturdy,” Deveaux said.
Although she did not have an evacuation plan, she said she had “supplies and people” she could call on in the case of an emergency.
Hurricane Michael quickly transformed from a weekend tropical depression to a category four hurricane yesterday. It was expected to bring up to a foot of rain and storm surges up to 14 feet.
Florida, Georgia and Alaaemergency.
Omar Smith, 22, who studies at Pensacola Christian College, said he had faith everything would be okay.
“Well, I have faith and in the past the school has never had any complications with hurricanes and we have extremely high ground that we can go to and they assured us that we are 100 percent safe here on campus,” he said.
Smith also said, “For our school, we have provisions made where we don’t have to evacuate. There are, I think, three complexes that can withstand category five hurricanes and our dorms can withstand, I think, category four so they were really made for us to stay at school and they provided us with water and [ready to eat meals].”
Jonathan Pinder, 19, studies at Georgia State University in Atlanta.
Although his city will only feel the outer bands of the hurricane, Pinder said he was still “alert and observant”.
“In the case that my current living situation becomes a risk or we are asked to evacuate the dorm, I will be relocating to a friend’s house that is farther away from the impact zone of the hurricane,” he said.
“[Georgia] Governor Nathan Deal has declared a state of emergency for about 92 counties, mine not included thus far. I am praying for safety through this hurricane.”
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it was closely monitoring the hurricane.
“The ministry is in contact with The Bahamas’ consulates in Atlanta and Miami as it relates to the safety of Bahamians residing in Georgia and Florida,” the ministry said in a statement.
“Bahamians have been advised to follow all instructions and advisories issued by federal, state and local officials. Further, we have asked persons to comply with orders for mandatory evacuation (where applicable). The ministry will endeavor to inform the general public of new developments relating to this issue as deemed necessary.”
Linda Treco-Mackey, the Bahamian consul general in Miami, advised parents of students in the affected U.S. states to contact the Bahamian consulates in Miami and Atlanta.
“If there are parents who are concerned, they are free to call us. We will have it circulate for 24 hours so that they can contact us if they have any news of their children that are in trouble or need assistance,” she said.
The emergency number is 1-786-442-8733.