In the past few days, tragedy has struck the Leeward islands, Hurricane Irma- a catastrophic weather system that has pummeled islands like St. Maarten, Tortola, the British Virgin Islands and Barbuda, making its presence felt more than anything in years. Now, en route to South Florida, the system promises a direct hit to Miami and surrounding areas. Carnival ambassador, Giselle ‘The Wassi One’ Blanche told Ebuzztt she’s holding firm, praying and ensuring that all supplies required are in order.
On Wednesday, Giselle returned to Miami from New York, having taken part in the West Indian Day Parade there. She said everyone told her she was crazy to return amid warnings of the impending hurricane and its possible effects, but she could not turn her back on her loved ones back at home in Miami. “This is my home, this is where I live and this is where everything that I love is. Miami carnival is around the corner too, so with that being said, I have to secure the work that we’ve already done, ensure all of that is taken care of,” she explained.
When we contacted her, Giselle had been in the middle of placing Hurricane shutters on her windows and removing objects that could be uprooted by the wind from outdoors, and bringing them indoors. “Everybody’s taking precautions. We’ve bought all the canned goods and water and stuff. Our prayers are up, precautions are being taken and I’m sure everybody, at this point are on their knees praying that we make it through this and the other two, we hope they go away, but if they come, we’re ready for them as well.”
The effects of Irma are expected to be felt on Sunday in Florida. Many areas have been served mandatory evacuation notice. Giselle reminded us that one of the worst hurricanes to have ever hit South Florida, Hurricane Andrew, marked its 25th anniversary recently. “I think that also has Floridians shaken up more than usual. My area has not been up for evacuation so I’ll be staying in my home,” she said. Wassi told us that she would prefer to be there, to see for herself, versus hearing about it. “The anxiety would kill me- the type of person that I am. I need to be in my home where all the people that I love are- my son, my parents, my significants. We’re not leaving, we’re gonna rock this out together,” she said.
The Washington Post this evening reported Federal Emergency Management Agency administrator, William ‘Brock’ Long as saying, “Irma is likely to make landfall in Florida as a dangerous major hurricane, and will bring life threatening wind impacts to much of the state, regardless of the exact track of the centre.”