Hurricane Nicole impacts barrier islands residents


Hurricane Nicole directly hit Brevard County on Wednesday and Thursday, impacting residents of the Barrier Islands such as Indialantic and Merritt Island. 

Freshman Kellyn Hoffmann, who lives in Indialantic, experienced property damage Wednesday night. 

“One of our small palm trees fell down,” she said. “And our fence came down again.”

Sophomore Hannah Talaia’s community was impacted by the high wind-speed.

“My neighbor’s trampoline flew over their fence and into a tree,” she said. “We also experienced power outages.”

Ahlam Fetouh, who has two children who attend West Shore, described the destruction of Merritt Island from the storm.

“There’s been a lot of flooding,” she said. “We live on a lake. I know some docks and property have been destroyed.” 

Even with the consequences of the hurricane, freshman Sophia Fetouh said she didn’t regret staying home for the storm.

“With my dad’s job and with my community, there was a loss of a need to evacuate,” she said. “My grandma with a pacemaker already left on a flight on Tuesday, so the rest of the family didn’t have to worry as much.”

Sophia Fetouh also said she believes whether or not to evacuate is a personal choice.

“While you should be concerned over a [hurricane] like this, do your research ahead of time and follow Brevard County guidelines,” she said. “Sometimes Gov. DeSantis overreacts on certain occasions in the news over [evacuation during hurricanes]. While yes, some families did end up losing their sea walls, leading to erosion, the majority of these families left and evacuated because they knew their chances. In the end, it depends on your research and your preparation beforehand.”

Talaia said she wasn’t worried about the hurricane, which is why she didn’t evacuate from Indialantic.

“The hurricane didn’t seem like a big enough threat, and the news said it was only a category one,” she said. “The only consequence that came from the hurricane was having to clean up debris.”

Freshman Abigail Bernard brought up an idea to help restore beachside communities.

“I think we need to create a beach and community cleanup,” she said. “There’s a lot of rubble on the beach and in the community in general.”

Ahlam Fetouh recommends assisting the people nearby.

“Check on your neighbor,” she said. “[Especially because] we have a lot of retired people here in Florida, just make sure everyone has water and supplies.”

By Elena Konicki