brown timberlands Former Edmontonians bracing for Irma
As hurricane Irma swept over Florida 640 kilometres wide, bringing winds of more than 200 km/h and leaving a broad path of destruction in its wake former Edmonton residents contacted Sunday fear the worst is yet to come.
the anxiety of not knowing, said former Edmontonian Kim Mireau, who fled with her family to Perry, Georgia, from her home in Winter Springs, Florida. when we come back we still have a house to come back to. the eye of the storm stayed on the west coast of the peninsula, Mireau said she had heard from neighbours that a tornado has already swept through part of her community, downing trees as areas nearby begin to flood.
Attila Hertelendy, a professor at Florida International University and an adjunct research professor at Georgetown University where he teaches emergency management born and raised in Edmonton is riding out the storm in his home with his family in West Palm Beach.
Attila Hertelendy home in West Palm Beach, Florida, on Sunday, Sept. 10, 2017, as hurricane Irma begins its sweep across Florida.
of the trees are going down in my neighbourhood, we have some flooding and power is flickering. There are a lot of power outages, there is about 220,000 without power here in Palm Beach County right now, said Hertelendy on Sunday.
Hertelendy has lived in south Florida for five years and was previously called to provide aid as an emergency responder on the ground during hurricane Katrina in 2005.
He said Florida is experienced and well prepared to handle such emergencies, praising the government for its proactive response in arranging an unprecedented evacuation of 6.3 million people and bringing in support from across North America ready to begin recovery efforts as soon as the storm has passed.
Mireau husband is one of them, a hydro vac driver currently waiting in a shelter on emergency standby ready to help restore power.
That being said, Hertelendy knows citizens will be left repairing the devastation left behind for some time after the storm moves on.
have challenges with logistics as it relates to fuel, food, things like that. I think the recovery efforts are going to be very long, it going to take a very long time to recover from here throughout all of Florida, Hertelendy said, estimating it could be weeks before people are back in their homes in some parts of Florida, but potentially months before those in the hardest hit areas including the Florida Keys, battered by the storm Sunday are able to safely return.
Even then, as the storm season continues, Hertelendy said officials are preparing for potential hits from other storms.
do plan for worst case scenarios, and that type of event is one of those worst case scenarios in terms of managing multiple incidents at one time, said Hertelendy.
Hertelendy said the biggest challenge could be affording the recovery because the Federal Emergency Management Agency was already dangerously low on funds before hurricane Irma struck.