While Dripping Springs was not at the eye of Hurricane Harvey, they did not come out completely dry. Over the two day period of the storm, there was reported to be roughly 4.5 inches of rainfall collected. On top of this, the hill country was subject to some cloudy weather, lots of wind, and on again, off again showers. Quite a few neighborhoods in the area had their power go out, along with fences going down and multiple trees fully uprooted. Compared to the nightmare that was happening down the coast, they were able to get through it with relative ease.
This led to southern hospitality getting to shine through, as people all over the community got together to help those in need both in the area and down the coast. There was a Saturday intensive with Helping Hands Austin, multiple supply drives through the DSISD schools, and many more projects on the side. The city of Dripping Springs and the high school went above and beyond what was asked of them and took the initiative to help out as much as they could.
“When I saw the first bits of footage from after Hurricane Harvey, I noticed how much of a change it had made to the places that it had hit,” junior Amber Cahill, aquatic science student, said. “It was insane to me how much power that storm had. I mean, it showed up on the scale for earthquakes. I wanted to know how in the heck the world or ocean was capable of creating something like that.”
Learning thus happens when this kind of curiosity strikes. While everything returns back to normal after the thorough soaking and flooding, students are becoming more interested in what caused the hurricane and how they can better understand the aquatic world around them. Back on Sept. 26, the APES and aquatic science students went on a field trip to Barton Springs Pool in Austin to attend the 2017 Barton Springs University. There they learned about how the different parts of the aquatic ecosystems work together to create the lakes, rivers, and oceans.
“I think the key word that we in aquatic science and APES focus on is the watershed,” Nicole Watts, aquatic science teacher, said. “Hurricane Harvey picked up all that water from the gulf and brought it onto land, and then all the flooding happened and all the pollution and all of the wastewater treatment facilities [were overrun], like four of them in Houston overflowed. [Now] you have all these pollutants in the water and then what happens when all the water recedes? So, not only are we worried about all of the humans and all of the life that live around that, but also the rain water starts in Houston or higher and flows down into a river [to go other places]. How are all of those communities affected?”
As the school year continues to progress, the students will take this knowledge and use it to help them understand how these forces of nature, such as Hurricane Harvey, come to be. So if and when it happens again, they will be even more prepared. Until then, the people of Dripping Springs will continue to help with the recovery efforts, and educate those around them.
Written By: Giselle Galletti, Feature Editor