The student-run news site of H. B. Plant High School

PHS News

The student-run news site of H. B. Plant High School

PHS News

The student-run news site of H. B. Plant High School

PHS News

Tampa Students Count Their Blessings After Hurricane Idalia Shifts

Sydney Appleton
Hurricane Idalia left Bayshore Blvd. in Tampa, Fla. flooded. Although this appears tragic, it could have been worse. The category 3 storm, which was initially expected to make landfall slightly north of Tampa, shifted quickly and made landfall in the Big Bend area of Fla. This has left the Tampa community feeling lucky as Idalia is one of many named storms that has shifted away from the city slightly before landfall.

On Aug. 30, Hurricane Idalia made landfall in the Big Bend area of Fla., completely challenging original storm paths projected by meteorologists. The category 3 storm was predicted to make landfall slightly north of Tampa. Major flooding from storm surge, as well as winds as strong as 130 mph were expected to affect Plant High School’s area.  

With such ideas, students rallied together to help their community prepare for what was expected to be a great travesty. Following Monday’s early release school day, many rushed home to secure their houses and gather safety materials. But once again, “Tampanians” are counting their blessings as they look around to see normalcy. Senior Lily Difranco (12) feels the Tampa community lucked out with this storm. 

“I do feel that Tampa got lucky with this hurricane,” Difranco said. “There was little to no damage around where I live, but it was rainy the whole day of and after the hurricane. There was really no major damage.”  

Since Idalia’s original path was supposed to make landfall very close to Tampa, the community expected dangerous weather conditions, along with post-storm damage. However, Tampa only received bands from the storm and only experienced heavy rain with minor flooding. These conditions are not out of the blue for the city’s tropical climate. Senior Hannah Hussey (12) witnessed the storm’s impact on her town while reflecting on how bad it could have been.  

“There was no major damage to the city,” Hussey said. “There was just a lot of heavy rain and flooding. Tampa is so low to sea level so it could have been a lot worse. I never even lost power.”  

Before the storm shifted away from Tampa, city officials enforced a mandatory evacuation order for Zone A, which houses many Plant students. Due to this area’s close location to the water, officials felt it was necessary for residents to evacuate from this location because of expectations that Zone A would experience severe flooding and catastrophic winds. Junior Nicholas Parra (11) evacuated from his home to escape from these conditions.  

“When I got back home after the storm, there was not any damage,” Parra said. “It was just like a normal rainy day that Floridians see often. We did not get damage like we would have if the storm had hit closer.”  

Hurricane Idalia is not the first storm that was originally expected to make a direct hit near the Tampa area. Once again, local students, parents, and teachers are counting their blessings as their city is practically untouched by this storm.  

To learn more about the path that Idalia took, see the interactive map below.  

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About the Contributor
Sydney Appleton
Sydney Appleton, Online Editor In Chief

Hi everyone! My name is Sydney and this is my third year on staff. I am this year's Online Editor In Chief. I love to play piano, write, and spend time with my friends and family. This summer I attended the School of the New York Times to study Journalism. I can’t wait for a great year! 

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