Hurricane Fiona Holds SHS Freshman Hostage

By: Kate Smith, Oct. 24, 2022

On Sunday, September 18, 2022, Hurricane Fiona attacked the southwest side of Puerto Rico as a category 1 storm. 

As a result of Hurricane Fiona, at least 10 people died, homes and buildings in the area were demolished and people lived without power and water for several days. 

Hurricane Fiona was the first hurricane to make an appearance in Puerto Rico since Hurricane Maria on Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2017, which averaged to be a category 4 storm.

It’s only natural to be excited about going on vacation, especially for travelers who enjoy departing hours away from home, but it’s not always promised you’ll make it back home.

Flight delays, problems with luggage or practically any other traveling difficulties that come to mind can cripple a planned vacation.

Salisbury Freshman Tammy Rodriguez flew out to Puerto Rico alongside some family members to help decorate for the gender reveal of a family friend living in Puerto Rico.

Tammy and her family were only supposed to be in Puerto Rico for one week but because of Hurricane Fiona, all flights to fly back to Pennsylvania were canceled. 

They forcefully lingered for an extra week in Puerto Rico, leaving them staying in Puerto Rico for a total of two weeks. 

Everyone, at the time, was forced to stay in Puerto Rico since it had gone on a safety lockdown. Tammy had to miss an additional week of school and it was a challenge to get ahold of food. Every food market, and all the shops, were closed for the safety of customers, employees, and employers.

Tammy shared that, “we tried to go get something to eat because we were running out, and literally every shop was closed because they couldn’t heat up the food.”

It was also challenging for Tammy to get signal during Hurricane Fiona.

“While I was there, we kept trying to move the antennas on the little TV we had to see if we could get a signal to put the news on.” 

When Tammy and her family were finally able to get a hold of the news forecast, they took note of Ponces’ terrible condition.

The city of Ponce had fallen trees, lots of flooding, shut-down businesses, no power and many other downfalls. Additionally, “A huge amount of running water and people who were traveling to Ponce could literally not get out to get to the airport unless they took a 8 hour drive around the island near the beaches.” 

According to Tammy, Puerto Rico is not yet done recovering from Hurricane Maria, but she’s hoping for improvement so life can start looking up again. 

Tammy and her family were considered to be in one of the most safe cities in Puerto Rico at the time of Hurricane Fiona. The Rodriguez family were luckily in San Juan which was not impacted as hard. 

When asking Tammy how she felt about Hurricane Fiona as a whole, she said, “It was an experience that I’m glad I had but I do not wish it upon others.”

Tammy realized that no one should “learn to not take anything for granted” since tomorrow is never promised, and that the entire world is at risk of natural disasters like Hurricane Fiona happening any day. 






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