The Atlantic hurricane season has resulted in one hurricane after another but it seems as if the turbulent season has failed to put a damper on the spirit of generosity among those in the pathway of these magnificent storms. According to Fox News, several locals from Georgia are helping Floridians fleeing the devastating and record-breaking Hurricane Irma, which has been termed as the most powerful Atlantic hurricane in history. According to the report, volunteers from Valdosta, Georgia, set up camp at a gas station near an Interstate 75 exit and began offering food as well as money for gas for those seeking an escape from the breathtaking Irma.
In a statement to Fox News, Georgian volunteer Chad Harrison said, "We are having a lot of bottleneck traffic on [Interstate] 75 slowing down. People without food, people without money to buy gas. We just felt like it was our duty as Americans to come out and cook." And cook they apparently did; according to the Fox News report, Harrison was joined by other volunteers in cooking hot dogs and carrying signs for Floridians that said, "Free food for evacuees."
According to the volunteer, his group had helped over 2,000 people including families and their pets. "Fifteen to 20 families have been helped as far as gas, supplies that they needed, water, drinks, food, letting their dogs just get out," Harrison said. But it wasn't just Americans that the Georgia locals showed generosity toward. The report also noted that the volunteers had also shown their Southern hospitality toward two Venezuelans who were fleeing Miami as Irma approached.
Harrison and his group's act of philanthropy toward evacuees is indeed a much-needed source of relief for Floridians attempting to flee the catastrophic Hurricane Irma. At this moment, the monstrous hurricane is carrying winds at 130 mph while it is expected to heavily target Southern Florida. Nearly 30,000 locals from Florida have fled the state but an estimated 116,000 are still presently waiting in shelters for the hurricane to subdue while there have been reports of downtown Miami submerged in floodwater.
Governor Rick Scott of Florida authorized the deployment of the Florida National Guard as well as 10,000 out-of-state guardsmen to provide rescue efforts in the face of the stunning Hurricane Irma. "Pray, pray for everybody in Florida," Scott said. To give you an idea of just how incredibly massive Irma is, the National Hurricane Center reported that the square mileage of Irma's winds is 70,000 whereas the Florida area is 65,000 square miles. Irma's eye alone would roughly cover the Detroit area.
The NHC also stated that Irma is potentially set to hit some 20 million people in Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina. The terrifying hurricane has already devastated the small island of Barbuda while hitting St. Martin, Puerto Rico, Cuba, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Premier of Antigua and Barbuda, Gaston Browne, described the hurricane is the most grim words and said that Barbuda was "literally under water." According to the prime minister, half of the island's population had been left homeless due to the hurricane.
In Florida, Hurricane Irma continues to pummel commercial and residential areas while leaving people without access to electricity due to outages. Locals have reported downpour and districts submerged in floodwater which is likely to become toxic in the next few days due to the water carrying human feces and other deadly matter.
The Associated Press reported that nearly six mobile homes had been destroyed by the violent gusts of Irma's winds. So far, however, there have been no reports of deaths in the Southern state. Let's hope it stays that way.