Local Haitians monitoring Hurricane Matthew

Local Haitians are checking in with relatives as Hurricane Matthew takes aim at their home country.

Tampa, Florida -  For many of you with loved ones directly in the path of Hurricane Matthew waiting and watching Hurricane Matthew's track can be excruciating. Some people aren't wasting any time making sure their families are prepared to ride it out.

Images of Haiti are streaming in real time on Gens Cadet's cell phone. Cadet is able to communicate with his family members in Haiti and see video from what the weather conditions are there through Facetime.
It's something Cadet puts his clippers down for in between giving cuts at New Look barber shop on Fletcher Avenue in Tampa.

While speaking Creole, Cadet translates for his family member who agreed to allow us to listen in on their conversation. Cadet says, "Oh he said the reason why school is canceled is because of the hurricane."  Cadet says he's not too worried about his family that live in North Haiti. He adds, "You know Haiti is a mountainous country - the mountains help break the wind - so I'm hoping it will do the same thing and slow the winds down."

But some six years after a catastrophic earthquake, Haiti which is one of the poorest countries in the world is still in some places teetering on the edge of disaster. Many people are living in unstable housing and struggling to rebuild. As of Monday afternoon, the Hurricane 4 storm was expected to bring winds of up to 130 miles per hour while dumping 40 inches of rain.

James Jean is also a barber at New Look. He too has family in Haiti and he says he's worried. Jean says, "If they get hit they don't have too many places to go."  He says depending on where they live many Haitians can't prepare for the storm. Others just think they can ride it out.

Jean adds, "Most of the people in the mountains - they are kind of used to it so they get ready but like the people in the city - they're just like us - they're kind of detached from nature so if the buildings come down or there's a flood or anything there's nothing they can do. They just have to wait until it's over."

While Cadet and Jean watch the storm carefully and try to keep focused on work, their hearts and minds are with Haiti.


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