When Hurricane Irma hit in early September, residents of the Caribbean and Florida, in particular, prepared for the worst. Although many communities experienced devastating damage, for the most part CSI’s member schools held up against the storm’s crushing winds. If we receive more information, we will publish it here.
Kyle Mast, head of school at Summit Christian in Fort Myers, Florida, reports the campus sustained only minimal damage. “We lost several shade canopies and a couple trees. Our portable had a seam rip, and we had some water blow into a few classrooms. Communities to our east and south had a more devastating impact (Marco, Naples).” Power outages and out-of-state staff kept the school closed for a few days, but students were back in class by September 15.
Bradenton Christian in Bradenton, Florida, was also without power for several days, but reports no building damage and minimal damage to some trees and the outside athletic areas. Bradenton reports, “We are thankful, because we expected much worse.”
Coastal Community School in Satellite Beach, Florida, reports no major damage to the school building or to their school families’ homes. “Families are pulling together for some debris pick up and internet access (for example, I have not had it!),” said Sarah Angrisani, principal. The school was closed for several days but resumed September 18.
Dave Medder, head of school at Westminster in Palmetto (Miami), Florida, said “We are cutting up trees and cleaning up the damage to our outside canopies and fences, but the classrooms are fine. We have power to all the campus, the internet structure is running. We have student volunteers coming to sweep, rake and carry limbs.” The school expected to be open September 18 providing roads were cleared and traffic lights were working.
King’s Christian School in Miami was also closed for several days due to power outages, which also made it difficult to fully assess the school’s operational status. There was some damage to at least one AC unit and to the roof of the library.
Lake Worth Christian School in Boynton Beach, Florida, also survived the storm with only minor issues, but lack of power kept them closed until September 18. Volunteers spent many hours cleaning up the campus to remove debris and several small trees downed by wind.
Providence Christian in Cape Coral, Florida, also had issues with power, but the campus buildings remained intact, although a few trees did come down in Irma’s high winds. They resumed classes on September 18.
International Community School in Winter Park, Florida, regained power on September 15 and resumed classes on September 19. The campus sustained minimal damage: lots of debris on the property and two roofs with damage.
Although Irma did significant damage in the Dominican Republic, CSI’s two member schools there—Caribbean Mountain Academy in Jarabacoa and Santiago Christian in Santiago—emerged relatively unscathed.