Hunkering down in Florida for Hurricane Irma

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Hurricane Irma has been downgraded to a tropical storm as it blows into Georgia, leaving Florida reeling from the second major hurricane to hit the United States in two weeks. More than six million people in the state were ordered to evacuate ahead of the storm, but most Floridians are hurricane veterans, and many decided to stay.

In the city of Homestead, which was destroyed by Hurricane Andrew 25 years ago, the Olvera family decided to ride out the latest hurricane at home. Luisa Olvera and her husband Bruce, along with three of their children, Luisa’s parents, and Luisa’s grandmother, huddled in their three bedroom home, waiting for Irma to hit.

Luisa was confident her home would hold, since her father built it for her. “I think because he built this home going through Andrew, he built it stronger, so that’s why I was more confident to stay,” she said.

Irma ripped through the neighborhood, but Luisa has no plans to leave. “This weather will always be what it is, you’re living in paradise but it comes with some consequences,” she said. “This is my house. A storm is not going to chase us away.”

This episode of VICE News Tonight originally aired September 11, 2017, on HBO.

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