Seth Locker: hit by Hurricane irma
By Erin Schoch
On Monday, September 11, 2017, Seth Locker, a first-year University of Florida Veterinary Medicine student, awoke to a foot of water in his Gainesville, Fla. home. Hurricane Irma had struck. Living with his girlfriend, Cassi Stadler, and roommate, Mark Coleman, Locker knew he had to act fast.
As water filled his home on North 34th Street, he climbed out of a window, trudging through the rising water, to turn off the power. Even so, the water kept seeping in. At its highest, Locker recalls it being forty inches high.
It is now day five of clearing his belongings from the house, and the entire lawn is covered in damaged furniture, electronics and kitchen supplies. In total, the hurricane damaged between $15,000 and $20,000 worth of items.
It is not long until people stop to see if there is anything they want from the pile of trash. Joy is looking at suitcases while Locker looks on.
“It’s a little sad. That’s all our stuff that’s really damaged, but if it can help someone… maybe they have the craftsmanship or ability to repair it.”
Despite losing most of his belongings, Locker maintains a positive attitude. He had multiple friends show up to help move everything out of the house.
“Every person here pretty much is in the veterinary field. It’s just a huge family,” Locker says as he watches his friends continue to carry boxes out of the house.
Locker understands that there was no way to prepare, since the house is located so close to a ravine. “The only thing we could have done was park every motor vehicle we own in a parking garage and then put every valuable belonging in a storage truck and basically just not live here.”
Locker and his roommates do not have rental insurance, so they created a GoFundMe to help replace what they have lost. “Anything will help," he said.