Feeling the impact all the way from America

Photo+Courtesy%3A+Maddie+Kennedy
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Feeling the impact all the way from America

Photo Courtesy: Maddie Kennedy

Photo Courtesy: Maddie Kennedy

Photo Courtesy: Maddie Kennedy

Photo Courtesy: Maddie Kennedy

Kaye Paddyfote

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For most of the Quinnipiac community, Hurricane Dorian is just another hurricane, but for others, it’s more than that.

Maddie Kennedy, a first-year film, television and media arts student, currently lives in North Carolina but grew up in the Bahamas. Kennedy lived in the Bahamas until the eleventh grade when she moved to Pennsylvania to attend Mercersburg Academy.  

Hurricane Dorian has already done major damage to the island. Luckily, Kennedy’s father’s home is okay, but the same cannot be said for a majority of other residents on the island.

“My father is on the island right now, and we were very fortunate because the house I grew up in and go to every break and live at, was not affected because it’s at a higher elevation,” Kennedy said. “I do have friends that were forced to evacuate and their houses were completely submerged into water.”

Even some houses that were higher in elevation still did not withstand the storm. 

Photo Courtesy: Timothy Alan Bird

“There was up to 20 feet of water. Some houses are built on stilts, and they are ten feet high but even those houses are underwater because of how high the water reached,” Kennedy said.

This is not the first hurricane Kennedy has been exposed to. She has been in several, including Hurricane Matthew, which was the first category 5 hurricane since 2007.  When she initially heard about Hurricane Dorian, she was not concerned because it was not categorized as high as Hurricane Matthew. 

“Once we found out how strong the hurricane was, I think everyone was kind of scared, they only had a few more days to prepare because they thought it was going to be a three,” Kennedy said. “A category 5 is definitely the strongest hurricane that has hit the island ever recorded in history, so to find that out was kind of nerve-racking to know that I’m not there and all my friends are.”

Photo Courtesy: Timothy Alan Bird

Kennedy has a friend who lives on the west of the island that had to evacuate. He hadn’t contacted her in days due to the lack of service on the island. 

“He contacted me yesterday [Wednesday] for the first time,” Kennedy said. “He went to his house and wrote to me and told me that a lot of it is damaged, it has five feet of water that went through the house and a lot of his walls have caved in. It’s definitely hard to hear because its places that I have grown up around, friend’s houses that I would have sleepovers at and to know they’re all messed up and have to be rebuilt entirely has been difficult.”

The death toll is up to 30 people, and reports say that the cost of repairs is upwards to a billion dollars. Late on Wednesday, Prime Minister Hubert Minnis of the Bahamas spoke at a press conference asking the public to think of them.

We ask you to pray for the families and loved ones of the deceased,” Prime Minister Minnis said.

The most important thing Kennedy said moving forward is, people should donate. 

“I think a lot of people don’t really realize the impact they [hurricanes] can have because it’s so far away but, even from Connecticut you can make a huge impact by donating. There are tons of organizations that you can donate to, and they really do make a difference,” Kennedy said. “After storms like this, it’s very hard to come by freshwater, food and temporary housing. All of this is really important and families do need it.”

And students at Quinnipiac are donating. The Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity will be having a supply drive, in the multicultural suite from Sept. 6 to Sept. 20. 

Photo Courtesy: @6thhousealphas on Instagram

Photo Courtesy: @6thhousealphas on Instagram