Hurricane Irma has finally dissipated over Florida, leaving in its destructive wake the costly and extensive task of cleaning up. Local community members have come together to help rebuild, including one nun with a chainsaw.
Sister Margaret Ann has been working in education for over thirty years, and is currently the principal of Archbishop Coleman F. Carroll High School, A Catholic high school part of the Archdiocese of Miami. She is also a Carmelite Sister of the Most Sacred Heart of Los Angeles.
After the hurricane, debris and downed trees were blocking the road from the Carmelite convent to the campus of the high school. Drivers were left with no choice but to steer up onto the sidewalk, eventually sliding and getting stuck in the mud. When Sister Margaret Ann saw the drivers in peril, she took matters into her own hands when she grabbed a chainsaw from a supply closet and went outside, donned in her habit, to cut the trees and clear a path. She said in an interview to CNN,
“The road was blocked, we couldn’t get through, and I saw somebody spin in the mud and almost go into a wall, going off the road. So, there was a need, I had the means, so I wanted to help out.”
Sister Margaret Ann was in the process of cutting the trees when an off duty police officer spotted her, and posted a video her took to social media where it has since gone viral. She said the officer told her the police will come,
“He said, ‘You know though, Sister, the police will do this.’ And I said, ‘But it’s going to take them too long, it’s dangerous, people are going to get hurt here.'”
Its uncertain when the high school will reopen: a wall was blown out, six acres of their grounds are covered in downed trees, and their air conditioners are broken. However, Sister Margaret Ann is remaining optimistic, saying
“The community will come out and help us. That’s what we do. It’s good.”
In a Facebook post on Tuesday, the Miami-Dade police department thanked her for her efforts in cleaning up after the hurricane.