The River dodges Dorian’s destruction and donates to the devastated.
The hurricane that started as a threat to Florida’s east coast became harmless for the River but a tragedy for the Bahamas.
Hurricane Dorian, a Category 5 hurricane that formed in the Atlantic, quickly changed its path after initial reports estimated it would hit Florida in early September. Instead, the catastrophic storm hit the Bahamas with winds of 183 mph followed by immense flooding from a storm surge. According to Reuters News, over 70,000 people were left homeless in the Caribbean islands and more than 60 found dead.
Families in Bradenton were relieved when the hurricane’s path shifted, but some failed to acknowledge it would leave a disaster somewhere else. The American Red Cross (ARC) club at the River hosted a Hurricane Dorian Relief drive, launched a week after the damage from Dorian was reported. Students were invited to bring in non-perishable foods and toiletries with service hours offered.
“In ARC, we are going to be sending non-perishable items to aid relief in the Bahamas,” senior Amy Doan said. “The impact of Dorian did not affect us but strongly affected those in the Bahamas, and we want to support them in any way we can.”
The hurricane relief project was an immediate way for students to come together and help those who were affected by the disastrous storm. As a community, Manatee County families were grateful to not be affected by Hurricane Dorian’s wrath.
“I remember when Hurricane Irma was about to hit and everyone was stressing, then it ended up not hitting us directly,” senior Lexi Farmer said. “I knew the same thing was going to happen this time, so I didn’t stress much about the storm.”
As the news made its way to the River, teachers and staff began to prepare. The River is a designated shelter during a hurricane and all administrators are instructed to stay on campus. In preparation for Dorian, teachers were notified to start taking precautions on transforming their classrooms to be a safe, shelter-like place for those who would need to evacuate. They were also warned that students may be out of school the following Tuesday. Fortunately for Manatee students, school resumed as usual, and with it the opportunity to help those who were not so fortunate
“The ultimate goal of the ARC is to aid in relief in response to natural disasters,” Doan said. “We hope to help as much as we can to relieve those who are suffering.”