POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. — When Peter Delatour left his Miami home to begin his sophomore year at Marist College, he never expected that it would the last time he saw his childhood home as he remembers it. In mid-September of 2017, Hurricane Irma devastated the state of Florida. The extremely powerful and catastrophic hurricane was the most intense Atlantic hurricane to strike the United States since Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Hurricane Irma caused widespread destruction throughout Florida, and this led to many families evacuating the state in search of shelter.
Peter Delatour is a redshirt sophomore at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, New York, and is a Defensive End of the football team. The news of Hurricane Irma’s path to Florida left many people and families scrambling for ideas on how to deal with and stay safe during the catastrophic storm. Being raised by a single mother, Peter took on the role of “man of the house” at a very young age. Peter’s caretaking nature initially told him to go home and be with his family during these trying times, but his commitment to the football program at Marist forced him to stay in Poughkeepsie. So instead, Peter told his mother to book the next flight out of Miami to JFK airport in New York, along with his 11-year-old sister.
His mother, Ibis, and sister, Leslie, are both currently living in the basement of Peter’s off-campus home. Though these may not be the best living arrangements, the Delatour family is happy that they are all safe. “I really wanted to go down to Miami myself to care for my family and make sure everyone is safe at home, but when I realized that wasn’t an option for me, I made the last minute decision to have them stay with me.” Peter said in an interview. “I think this has been the hardest on my little sister, I don’t think she really understands what’s going on, but I am happy to have her and my mother here. They came out to our home game last Saturday and nothing is better than having your real family cheer you on and show support.”
In an interview with his Peter’s mother, Ibis, she states, “I am so blessed that I have such warm-hearted, caring man for a son. I’ve taught him since a young age that family is the most important thing in life, and it is truly heartwarming what he has done for his sister and mother.”
Ibis and Leslie are headed back to Florida this Sunday, as the destructive Hurricane has finally passed. Back at the Delatour home in Miami, the front porch was destroyed, but the family is grateful that they do not have to find a new place to live, as so many others have.