By Molly Simons
On September 28, 2022 one of the most catastrophic hurricanes in US history hit in Lee County, Florida . Hurricane Ian spread from the South Eastern States in the US to Cuba, Columbia, and Venezuela. It caused massive amounts of damage and killed more than 100 people. This is the deadliest hurricane to hit Florida since 1935.
Vermont doesn’t have hurricanes, so is anyone at CVU really “affected” by this hurricane? Turns out one of CVU’s very own history teachers, Ute Otley, was impacted by her family being near the hurricane.
Ute’s dad, step mom, and her dad’s two best friends live where the hurricane hit. She was unable to contact them for a couple days but heard through a friend that they were safe.
To prepare for the hurricane, they went out to get plywood to board up the windows in case they wouldn’t hold. Since they didn’t want to evacuate,they had to stock up on batteries and water. This caused Ute to worry about her family. Luckily, Her dad’s friends evacuated before they lost their house. Her dad’s house was okay, but his best friends’ was destroyed.
This historical event has changed the way Ute’s family lives. She said, “I can hear the depression in my dad’s voice, because our favorite restaurants are gone. Until the hurricane hit, he worked on a golf course on Sanibel island. Sanibel got hit hard and the causeway got destroyed so he’s out of a job.”
Regarding her dad, “I think he feels at moments lucky to be alive, but also at other times he feels like it’s gonna take 10 years, and he doesn’t know how it’s gonna go back to the Florida that he knew.” Her sister on the other hand, who was in a different part of Florida where the hurricane did not hit, feels like “the whole state is mourning.”
Here at CVU we are about 1,500 miles away from where Ian hit in Lee County. But even though we are miles away people in our community still were affected. We are a lot more connected than we seem and the people you see everyday can be impacted by the tragic stories around the world.