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Students fear effects of hurricane

Kelly Meehan | Monday, September 6, 2004

Although South Bend may be over 1,000 miles from the Florida coast, many Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s students are feeling the effects of Hurricane Frances. Just one week after the powerful Hurricane Charley, students from Florida are particularly concerned with Frances’ path and the damage it could cause to their homes, friends and families.

“My family has been stuck inside for three days, waiting out the storm,” said Notre Dame sophomore Patrick Maus of Fort Lauderdale who lost an awning on his home when wind toppled a tree in his back yard.

Hurricane Frances dropped over 13 inches of rain this weekend on Florida’s central and east coast, causing massive flooding.

The storm, whose cloud cover was once estimated to be the size of Texas, caused Saint Mary’s sophomore Stephanie Haskins’ parents and younger brother to evacuate. Haskins lives two miles from the beach in Boca Raton. Everyone within five miles from the coast was forced to evacuate.

Haskins has lived in Florida her whole life, and has experienced many hurricanes, including hurricane Andrew.

“There are trees down everywhere. I have friends just one mile away from me who have to rebuild their whole house after a giant oak tree fell on it. It is weird how homes can be destroyed so close to your home, it just depends where you are,” said Haskins.

The family of Mary Pauline White, a Saint Mary’s senior, recently moved to Naples. Charley was their first hurricane experience, which made them extra prepared for the potential wrath of Frances.

Hurricane Charley hit Florida while White was away from home, working with the Olympics in Athens, Greece.

“It was hard not being there when it hit, and to just hear about it on the news in Europe,” said White.

Charley hit closer to her home than Frances will, but White’s family is still feeling its affects as many people are evacuating to Naples to escape Frances.

Joanna Mangeney, a Notre Dame sophomore, of North Lauderdale said that all the schools in her area have been shut down as the town does all it can to prepare for Hurricane Frances.

They shut down the University of Central Florida where many of Mangeney’s friends attend college. Mangeney said residents were trying to prepare and get away from the hurricane’s path.

“I am very grateful that Hurricane Frances is passing over my town,” said Saint Mary’s sophomore, Caitlin Stack of Saint Petersburg, who had to board up her windows to prepare for Hurricane Charley. Her town did, however, receive a significant amount of rainfall.

Hurricane Frances, once a category four storm, was downgraded to a category two storm before making landfall at Sewall’s Point, north of Palm Beach, around 1 a.m. EST on Sunday. It is projected to continue in a northeasterly direction across the United States over the next few days.