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Hurricane Irma impacts more than just Florida residents

<p><strong>Katie Gieselman, Photo provided&nbsp;</strong></p>

Katie Gieselman, Photo provided 

As Hurricane Irma rolled into Florida on Sunday, it also affected some Cardinals in Indiana.

The Disney College Program in Orlando, Florida is home for many Ball State students this semester, including Shelby Jones.  

Since Jones is from Indiana, she has never experienced a hurricane and said that she didn’t know what to expect. She is living in Disney housing and her job is in attractions. Her roommate is from Florida and helped her through the anxiety of the storm. Disney put together a hurricane ride-out team of staff members to help those who could not evacuate, bringing them water and supplies. 

Disney closed the parks early on Saturday night, remaining closed on Sunday and into Monday. Disney has closed its parks only four times because of hurricanes, including last year for Hurricane Matthew. The parks hope to open on Tuesday, September 12.

There are also students attending Ball State who know people or have family in the eye of the storm.  

Katie Gieselman’s family lives in Bonita Springs, which is between Ft. Myers and Naples, an area hard-hit by Irma. 

Her family put up hurricane shutters in preparation for the storm. The house survived with a few fallen palm trees. They did lose power and cell service. This made Gieselman nervous because she couldn’t contact them and she saw all of the damage in Texas from Hurricane Harvey. It was impossible for her family to evacuate because gas stations were sold out in her area. Her brother goes to Florida Gulf Coast University, 20 minutes from her hometown, where classes remain cancelled until September 13, at the soonest.

Residence Hall Association and Student Government Association at Ball State teamed up to raise money and support for Hurricane Harvey clean up. They said they will be willing to collaborate again for future hurricanes including Hurricane Irma. All donations will go to All Hands and their hope is to show that the Ball State community cares. Here is the link to donate.