AUDIO: weathering two hurricanes and a tropical storm

AUDIO: weathering two hurricanes and a tropical storm

The idea of hurricanes or any natural disaster impacting where you live can be a frightening thought for anyone. But when you are going to school on a tropical island, it could be even scarier. Michael Kiser spoke with his sister Sarah Plants, who in just under three weeks has experienced two hurricanes and a tropical storm on the island of St. Kitts.

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Story transcript:

Plants grew up in Shelby County, but she has been living in St. Kitts since May of 2016 and is a student at Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine.

The island is located southeast of the U.S. Virgin Islands and has been hit by hurricanes Irma and Maria, as well as Tropical Storm Jose. She was out of school for a week because of Irma.

Being from the Midwest, this kind of consistent and damaging weather is very unfamiliar to her.

Plants, who is 25 years old, said the situation has been chaotic, even for the people who have been residents of the island for some time.

"They're a little bit scared and worried, boarding up things and going to the grocery stores and buying out all the canned food and dry food and water.  It's scary to feel that hurricane coming and hear the wind and the rain," Plants says.

Plants says experiencing hurricanes firsthand has given her a better understanding of what people go through with natural disasters.

"Whenever Katrina hit, I was sad and I wanted to help and all that stuff. But I didn't really know how those people felt about it. And now I kind of have a sense of what they do feel. Of course, I didn't lose everything like those people did. But I felt the terror of 'oh my gosh I could lose everything' or 'I'm going to have to be moved to somewhere else because my island is just nothing but water now.' So I definitely have a new understanding, a new emotional connection, I guess you could say," Plants says.

Plants says one of the toughest parts, especially after Irma when the power was out for a few days, was not being able to call her parents to tell them that she was okay.

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