How Noles Took Irma by Storm


Ghesseh Afshari

Although the campus trees have taken a hit, Seminole spirit hasn’t.

Malavika Kannan and Zoya Wazir

When they first heard about the upcoming hurricane, many students didn’t expect much more than a flurry of memes and a day off of school. While Irma was indeed occasion for a social media explosion, Seminole County Public Schools (SCPS) students also ended up getting more than they asked for with ten days off from school.

By Thursday evening, group chats were buzzing with speculation about school being cancelled on Friday, which the county confirmed via Twitter at 9:32 p.m. On the following Wednesday, it was official: there would be no school for the rest of the week. By then, hundreds of students had lost power, had their homes flooded, or been relocated to shelters.

“We understand [parents’] focus and attention is most-likely fully-focused on keeping their family safe and restoring their residences as best they can,” said SCPS in a statement on their website.

The storm was over by Monday morning, but the damage extended far beyond that, with 75 percent of Seminole County’s residents and businesses losing power. Seminole High School also sustained damages to its baseball field and landscaping.

Although experiences varied widely among students, however, one thing remained constant: Noles’ shared sense of resilience and flexibility, and their ability to find humor on the rainiest day.

“Sometimes, when you’re sitting in the dark because your power’s out, watching your ice cream melt and fence cave in, all you can do is laugh,” said junior Divya Mehta. “You have to make some decent memories out of it.”

We asked Noles to tell us about their most memorable, funny, or weird experiences during the week off from school. The best responses have been curated below.

It’s Raining Sewage, Hallelujah!

‘‘I was taking a shower and I smelled something weird, but I figured [the smell] came from outside. When I turned around, sewage water hit my face and I swallowed some. Then I screamed, jumped out of the shower, and cried for 30 minutes.” -Sophomore Cisem Yagmur

It’s the End of the World as We Know It

“My mom just got into Black Hebrew Israelites. She’s forcing everyone in my family to live off of the Bible. She took her Bible and put me and my brother into a room for the entire storm.” - Freshman Breanna Young

Irma Calories Don’t Count

Basically, Irma calories don’t count. So I ate all the junk food I could during the break.” - Senior Alexandria Rivera

Irma Can’t See Me If I Can’t See Her

“From inside, I could see a tornado going through my backyard and a tree falling. My parents were screaming ‘Get downstairs right now!’ and all I could reply was ‘But my glasses!’ I stayed upstairs trying to find my glasses, so my parents got really mad at me and cut off my phone bill. Priorities.” - Sophomore Nolin Davis

Bathroom Break

“We had to put a mattress in the bathroom, and my mom, 20-year-old sister, and dog all had to sleep on the floor. My brother and I slept in the tub the whole night. It was cramped, and I got about two hours of sleep. The worst part? We never even lost power.” - Sophomore Trinity Cox

Gandhi Gone Wild

“During the hurricane, I think I actually met Gandhi. The storm had just finished, so I decided to take my dog for a walk. A lot of trees had fallen around my neighborhood and my dog got excited because he had never seen that before. He ran away and I ran after him and was startled when I saw him sitting in the lap of an old man. The old man was dressed in white robes and had a water bottle in his hand, with a peaceful expression on his face. He told me he had been in this forest for four days. I don’t know why, but I’m convinced it was Gandhi.” - Senior David Barrios

Bye Bye Birdie

“We were preparing for Irma by boarding up the windows. I had taken down the curtain from our window. A bird saw through [the window] and thought it was open. It crashed into the window and died. My neighbor picked up the dead bird and threw it into the lake.” - Freshman Annika Thakken

The Squirrel Savior

“The day after the storm, my cousin and I went out and looked at all the destroyed trees. When we were walking around them, we came upon two baby squirrels. We sent them to a neighbor/vet and have constantly checked in on them since.” - Freshman Marleigh Ginas