Relatively Little Damage from Irma in Ave Maria
Published on Monday, 11 September 2017 20:46
Ave Maria was spared major damage from Hurricane Irma although there were numerous downed trees and twisted pool cages. By Monday afternoon power had still not been restored and cell phone service was sporadic.
There were no reported injuries or significant damage to any structures. A volunteer at the Collier County emergency response center said that Ave Maria appeared to fare better than much of the rest of the county.
The spirit of the residents and university students who stayed was upbeat and dedicated to helping their neighbors get through the storm. Even before the storm, there were volunteers to help people put up hurricane shutters and prepare and after the storm passed, individuals have gone out to unclog storm drains and help other residents deal with fallen trees and other problems.
Ave Maria University sheltered nearly 400 people, mainly residents of nearby Immokalee, in its athletic field house. University President Jim Towey reported that the major damage at the school was from strong wind that twisted new bleachers at the football field. AMU has canceled classes for the rest of the week.
The Collier County Sheriff's Office posted a video of an overflight of the town taken at 8:30 a.m. Monday, which can be seen by clicking here.
Ave Maria had the benefit of being a new community where the buildings and entire infrastructure are no more than 10 years old. Just up the road in Immokalee, however, it was a different story and the Naples Daily News reports that many familes there are homeless.