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Hurricane Havoc:  How it Affected Merrimack and How We Can Help

By Megan Snow

Staff Writer

A view of a relative’s backyard during Hurricane Irma in Richmond Hill, Georgia. Via Victor Keller, Sophomore.

The U.S. has been hit with three intense hurricanes in just one month, affecting millions of Americans throughout Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands with many other states feeling residual effects.

And while there was no damage here, there are several students on campus originally from these areas dealing with the aftermath.

Emily DeYoung, a sophomore at Merrimack, says that her father had to stay in a hotel in Florida for almost a week because winds from the storm destroyed his roof.

One former student, Joe O’Neill, transferred to University of Tampa this past spring. He says he had to stay on campus during the storm because flights were very limited and very expensive.

“My mom was so upset that she couldn’t get a flight for me to come home,” O’Neill said. “She always wanted updates while I just waited for the storm to pass.”

O’Neill was one of 600 students out of the school’s 7,000 students to stay on campus.

“Everything was closed on campus besides a dining hall, and classes have been cancelled for a week,” he said. “There was not much damage on campus, thank God, but it’s pretty boring when there’s nothing to do until classes start up again.”

Father Ray, the director of Campus Ministry, is encouraging students to create their own fundraisers and donate money to hurricane relief efforts.

“In terms of going on a mission trip, it’s very complicated to get that organized very quickly, and immediate aftermath of disasters like this, they don’t need us,” said Ray. “We become more of a burden than a help when it comes to housing us, on top of all the citizens that need housing. The biggest thing they need now is electrical workers and money.”

Ray encourages students to donate to either the Red Cross, or Catholic Charity U.S.A.


If you would like to donate, visit any of these websites: