Hurricane season is in full force, and one of the strongest storms so far was Hurricane Ian. This Category Four tropical storm initially made landfall on September 27 in Pinar de Rico, Cuba. It also impacted the Artemisa, Mayabeque, and Havana provinces, prompting the evacuation of more than thirty thousand people and whipping the land with winds over 125 miles per hour. Ian made landfall a second time on September 28 in Florida, now with winds over 150 miles per hour and water rising to 12 feet in some places. Cayo Costa, an island just west of Fort Myers was the site of the most devastation, but across the state over two hundred and fifty thousand people were evacuated, and over 2.5 million were without power. Ian caused billions of dollars in insured losses, obliterated countless businesses, and left possibly thousands dead.
Life has temporarily been stalled for the inhabitants of Florida as Ian has quickly cemented itself as one of the most powerful and destructive hurricanes to hit the United States. It takes its place in the top 25 most deadly to reach the country, the last of which made that list was hurricane Katrina in 2005. The storm made landfall for a third and final time in South Carolina, but the effects of this catastrophic natural disaster have been visible all the way up the east coast and into New England, where it presented itself in the form of rain and cooler temperatures.
The storm’s effect is more than just the statistics, though. Despite the fact that Concord is over one thousand miles from Cayo Costa, the social implications of Ian have affected communities as small as Concord Academy. Originally, one of the spring session trips organized by CA was planned to visit Fort Myers to watch multiple games during Red Sox spring training. Since the devastation caused by the hurricane, however, trip coordinators decided to alter this plan and instead partner with a service organization to help the Florida community recover from lasting hurricane damage.
Although tropical storms have the most direct and physical impact on the islands in the Caribbean and states in the southeastern US, these disasters have left their mark on the continent. Florida has been the state most affected by hurricanes historically, followed by Texas and Louisiana, but New York, Massachusetts, and Connecticut are all susceptible to hurricanes themselves, and much of the US is all too aware of the damage and danger a hurricane presents. People all over the country have some connection to Ian, be it a family member living in Florida or Puerto Rico or the destruction of their childhood home, and the effects of such a frighteningly powerful hurricane trickle all the way up to Concord, Massachusetts.