Miramonte Graduates Face Hurricane Joaquin


Photo: www.ibtimes.com

Sommar Veverka, Social Media Director

California rarely has to cope with severe weather, but the sight of rain is no longer foreign to Miramonte graduates. Julia Nishioki ’14 and Spencer Hardwick ’15 experienced severe flooding in early October due to Hurricane Joaquin.

On Oct. 3rd, President Obama declared South Carolina in a state of emergency after being hit by the hurricane. Obama authorized the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to organize disaster relief. The University of South Carolina (USC) fraternity, Pi Kappa Phi, created a Go Fund Me in efforts to support victims of the flooding. “It makes me really proud to go to such an awesome university where so many students and faculty members have already donated so much of their time and money to relief efforts,” Nishioki said.

Classes at the University of South Carolina, Columbia, were originally cancelled for the following Monday after Joaquin had hit; however, “the rain continued and more flooding occurred,” Nishioki said. “It made it so that all of our water supply became contaminated and it was no longer safe to consume the water anyway. When that happened, they legally couldn’t have school without safe drinking water, so they had to cancel class for the rest of the week in order to assess all the damage around Columbia and fix the contaminated water issue.”

The state was also under a 6 p.m. curfew for safety regulations; however, after the university’s president’s announcement about classes, the majority of students fled the campus. Nishioki was not able to fly home for the week, but was fortunate enough to have a friend who had family in Charlotte, N.C. where she got to stay for a few days.

Like the majority of USC students, Mirador alumn Spencer Hardwick drove down to the University of Alabama with friends for the week. “To be honest, it was interesting to see it all go down and be a part of it, but really tragic seeing everything that happened to people. For me personally, it was almost like being on vacation because there were no classes and people threw hurricane parties,” Hardwick said.

The city of Colombia didn’t suffer severe damage; however, the news media reports that the state is in $1 billion dollars of debt and the number is rising.