Hurricane Eta Stirs Up a Storm


Joshua Stevens via NASA

Nasa released their overview of the estimated centimeters of rain that would be fall on Central America moments before the hurricane reached land.

Maria Odio, Staff Writer

Tropical Storm Eta is making the most out of the remaining Atlantic hurricane season by forming as one of the most intense storms of the year. This 2020 Atlantic hurricane season broke the previous record of the most active season with 30 named storms, including current Subtropical Storm Theta and upcoming Hurricane Iota. As of Nov. 13, Eta has passed through Tampa Bay after first making landfall in Florida, and has left a disaster in its wake.

Eta first formed in the central Caribbean as a Tropical Depression on Halloween. On Nov. 1, it was declared to be a Tropical Storm, however, the winds intensified and it was declared a hurricane by the National Hurricane Center. Eta eventually became a Category 4 that struck Central America. Most affected Central American countries experienced deaths, swollen rivers and the destruction of communities.

While the storm did weaken, it remained a Category 4 as it reached Nicaragua. Over three thousand people were evacuated from Puerto Cabezas, Nicaragua in preparation for the strong winds and heavy rains of Hurricane Eta. Eta developed into a tropical storm but it quickly reverted back to being a tropical depression.

After crossing Nicaragua, Eta passed over Honduras and then passed through Guatemala. When it hit Honduras, mudslides were created in San Pedro Sula, causing multiple homes and bridges to be ruined in its wake. In Guatemala, a large piece of rock was pulled from a mountain in Quejá because of the hurricane’s force. Rivers and canals ended up overflowing, which forced families to move to their rooftops without water or food.

During the weekend, Eta was reclassified as a tropical storm as it made way for Cuba which also experienced severe damage to communities. Only two days later, it made way for Florida and briefly became a Category 1 hurricane before being reclassified as a tropical storm.

Public schools, banks and other places in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach were shut down due to the impact of Tropical Storm Eta on the weather. Many residents woke up to a home without electricity and floods in their neighborhood. Over the course of the day, they received multiple flash flood warnings via their telephones.

“On Monday, the flash flood came for the hurricane. It did not have any effect on me, but the rain was very annoying. The whole day my window seemed like it was screaming from the rain hitting it and I could not even enjoy my Netflix. The day off was nice though,” freshman Cesar Ramirez said.

The Florida Keys received their tropical storm watches first. However, those quickly turned into warnings and vulnerable residents had to be evacuated. Governor Ron DeSantis declared that the Federal Emergency Management Agency granted his request for a “pre-landfall emergency declaration” since multiple counties declared a state of emergency. In Miami-Dade County, over 15,000 homes and businesses reported having lost electricity due to Eta’s strong gusts of winds. The counties of Broward, Miami-Dade and Monroe experienced street flooding while Miramar, Davie, Hollywood and a couple of other counties received a lot of precipitation from the storm.

“The day school was out, it rained a lot where I live. However, I did not see any flooding in my street nor did my power cut out,” freshman Joel Melendez said.

Although the Tropical Storm moved mostly westward, some northeast districts decided to close schools as well. Some counties like Duval decided to switch to full online school for a day instead of having to miss a day of class. Cavaliers enjoyed the day off on Monday, Nov. 9 due to flash flooding and dangerous weather leading officials to close the high school.

Many Floridians are working to provide aid for countries like Nicaragua by donating money to fundraisers like Friends Of Hope. These fundraisers have been started to send out emergency relief funds to the countries in most in need in order to deal with the effects of Eta on students, residents and communities. Affected areas will have to continue to push through the hurricane season for the remainder of the year and hope to face minimal damage and less intense storms once Eta passes.

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