Wednesday, September 21, 2011

LaShawn K. Phillips' view on Hurricane Irene

Warner Pacific College

Environmental Studies PHS100A

September 07, 2011

Just recently Hurricane Irene made its mark. Hurricane Irene swept through Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Haiti, United States, and Canada ("Hurricane Irene", n.d.). During Irene’s devastation fifty-five people were killed, and eight people went missing ("Hurricane Irene", n.d.). For me having family in Virginia, and a cousin who is serving in the U.S Navy in Virginia, it was very hard to hear about all of Hurricane Irene’s devastation. In this Essay I will be discussing Hurricane Irene from beginning to end, and discuss how my family prepared, and dealt with Hurricane Irene.

Hurricane Irene was a large and powerful Atlantic hurricane of the 2011 season that left extensive flood and wind damage along its path through the Caribbean, the United States East Coast and as far north as Atlantic Canada in August 2011 ("Hurricane Irene", n.d.). Subsequent convective organization occurred as it passed the Leeward Islands, and by August 21, it moved very close to Saint Croix, U.S Virgin Islands ("Hurricane Irene", n.d., para. 1). The next day Irene made landfall at hurricane strength near Puerto Rico, where high winds and intermittent torrents caused significant property damage ("Hurricane Irene", n.d., para. 1). After passing through the Turks and Caicos Islands, the hurricane quickly strengthened into a Category 3 major hurricane while it passed through the Bahamas ("Hurricane Irene", n.d.). Category 3 major hurricanes are described as major hurricanes in the Atlantic or Easter Pacific Basins, which can cause some structural damage to small residences and utility buildings, particularly those of wood frame or manufactured materials with minor curtain wall failures ("Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale", n.d.). Irene then made its way north skirting past Florida and making its landfall over the Eastern North Carolina’s Outer Banks in the early morning of August 27 ("Hurricane Irene", n.d.). Irene then moved along southeastern Virginia, affecting the Hampton Roads region and on the morning of August 28, landed near Little Egg Inlet in New Jersey making Irene the first hurricane to make landfall in New Jersey since 1903 ("Hurricane Irene", n.d.).

Having family in Virginia I was very concerned about what Hurricane Irene was capable of. My cousin Tracey and her husband boarded up their windows, and stocked up on needed supplies like water, batteries, and non-perishable foods. My cousin Melissa who had just moved to Virginia with her husband who is in the navy was calling me around the clock with updates; she was really scared seeing as though she had never experienced anything like this before. Melissa’s husband Will serves our country in the Navy and is stationed in Norfolk VA. During Hurricane Irene’s raft Will was unable to wait out the storm with his family. Will was out assisting ships to sea to avoid hurricane Irene and also busy moving the USS Enterprise to the Norfolk shipyard to protect the ship from the storm. After moving the ship back to the ship yard Will stayed on the ship constantly checking updates about Irene with the other commanders and sailors. Thank God for the men and women who serve in the U.S Navy.

I have always been really involved in following natural disasters in the United States and across the world. But when it came to Hurricane Irene, I was really concerned and was checking online and, the television whenever I got a free second. When your family is involved it hits home and given that it is a natural disaster there is no telling what will be the end result. Hurricane Irene caused over 50 deaths in less than a week. The hurricane also caused hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of damage. I am very thankful that my family who may have lost power for a few days, and had some minor damages, safely made it though the natural disaster that is hurricane Irene.


Hurricane Irene. (n.d.). In Wikipedia. Retrieved September 7, 2011, from

Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale. (n.d.). In Wikipedia. Retrieved September 7, 2011, from

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