Saturday, September 26, 2020
US flag

Irma, a Cat. 5, wipes out Antigua, Barbuda; Fla. in path

Hundreds of schools have been closed. Nearly all of some islands in the Caribbean have been completely destroyed. Thousands and more are homeless, without power, without communication, without drinkable water, and without much of anything after Hurricane Irma, a Category 5 monster, brought wind speeds as high as 185 mph for over 24 hours to the surface of this planet, the longest-enduring Category 5 storm ever recorded.

VIIRS infrared, Irma at 1:35 AM EDT Sept. 6. Barbuda is in the eye (UW-Madison/CIMSS)

Most forecasting models say Irma will make landfall on the south coast of Florida on Saturday afternoon. President Donald Trump has declared a state of emergency and has promised to help Gov Rick Scott of Florida as much as possible.

The government of Haiti, on the island of Hispaniola, has closed all institutions, including banks and stores, beginning at noon today and continuing until further notice. President Jovenel Moïse said in a televised speech that his cabinet had spent a week preparing for the hurricane. Emergency crews, though, were expected to have great difficulty rescuing people, given that 77 percent of the country is mountainous and much of it’s inaccessible by road, he said.

Prime Minister Gaston Browne of Antigua and Barbuda said that half of Barbuda had been left homeless. Officials declared a state of emergency there. In addition, more than 70 percent of households in the US territory of Puerto Rico were without power, and on St Martin, an official said 95 percent of the island was destroyed.

Paul Katula is the executive editor of the Voxitatis Research Foundation, which publishes this blog. For more information, see the About page.

Recent posts

Schools rethink the whole idea of snow days

Why have snow days anymore if we can have 'virtual learning' days, now that we know a thing or two about how they work?

Student news roundup, Maryland, Sept. 24

State to allow sports beginning in Oct., but some districts won't go back yet; Miss Maryland Agriculture; music lessons virtually.

Grand jury indicts officer in Breonna Taylor case

A former police officer was indicted in connection with the death of Breonna Taylor in Louisville. But it was less than many had hoped for.

New youth forum talks virtual learning in Md.

Virtual learning thoughts from a Md. HS: It can work and keeps kids safe, but it ends up being harder (you can't just ask a teacher if you don't understand).

IL brings 1000s back to school for SAT exam

Many IL seniors went back to their school buildings today to make up the SAT exam, which they missed last spring as juniors due to the pandemic.

Baltimore City Schools to lay off 450

Layoffs are coming to Baltimore City Schools due to a budget shortfall. Some teachers and teacher's assistants are included in the layoffs.

How citizens prefer to fund environmental action

Growing demand for countries to combat climate change, less consensus on how to fund it. New study offers insight from the US, UK, Germany, France.

Student news roundup, Illinois, Sept. 21

The death of The Notorious RBG, foreign exchange student from France, live streaming plays, BLM, and (of course) remote learning.

Fewer kindergartners, more college drop-outs

The nation has experienced an increase in college drop-outs, esp. among low-income families, and an explainable decrease in kindergarten enrollment.

Tim Kaine talks to Fairfax Co. seniors

In Virginia, protesters intimidated citizens at an early voting center in Fairfax Co. Sen. Tim Kaine talks about voting to students.

Obituary: Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

The death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is certain to bring a political battle between the president, the Senate, and Democrats.