A video of a chainsaw-wielding nun trying to help out by cutting down a fallen tree and debris that had been knocked down by the treacherous Hurricane Irma, recorded by an off-duty officer of the Miami-Dade Police Department on Tuesday, has gone viral on social media.
The footage shows a nun named Sister Margaret Ann, from Archbishop Coleman F. Carroll High School, wearing a black apron and work gloves trying to help clear debris, braving strong winds in a small neighborhood near southwest Miami-Dade County, Florida, after the storm whipped through the state over the past few days.
The video posted on the Facebook page of Miami-Dade Police Department (MDPD) has already garnered 557,000 views and 295 shares at the time of publishing of this story.
"Sister Margaret Ann in action. Thank you to all of our neighbors that are working together to get through this! We are #MiamiDadeStrong," the MDPD Twitter account captioned the clip.
The Archdiocese of Miami also announced early Tuesday evening that the Catholic schools falling under its jurisdiction in Miami-Dade, Broward and Monroe counties, Florida, are scheduled to remain closed until further notice, according to the Orlando Sentinel.
"There was a need, I had the means, so I wanted to help out," Sister Margaret Ann told Fox 31 Denver on Tuesday evening.
Sister Margaret Ann, who is a 30-year education veteran from Archbishop Coleman F. Carroll High School in West Kendall, Florida, said she knew of a chainsaw in her school's closet and so she thought she'd help remove debris and cut down a fallen tree that was blocking a road.
"We teach our students: Do what you can to help other people, don’t think of yourselves," she said, Fox 31 reported. "That’s what I wanted to do."
"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,'" Sister Margaret Ann said referring to her conversation with the police officer who captured the video.
Sister Margaret Ann said she and the people like her will continue to do the Lord’s work in order to help. "The community will come out and help us. That’s what we do," she said. "It’s good."
According to the Orlando Sentinel, some commenters on the nun's video also raised concerns and said it is dangerous to wear loose-fitting clothing while operating a chainsaw.
According to People magazine, cleaning up highly damaged areas hit by a storm is a very hazardous task and specifically when you decide to work with a chainsaw. This dangerous task should be conducted with immense care and handled with precautions because it might also include the risk of encountering fallen wires and electrical fires. Also in addition to these risks, tension in fallen trees might cause unexpected movement while cutting them, making the limbs pop out, which may hurt the person trying to cut it or hit the equipment or maybe cause the trunk to move in a way that leads you to become stuck.