After Hurricane Irma finished barreling through Florida—leaving battered homes, toppled trees, and snapped cranes in its wake—an off-duty cop in Miami headed into a local neighborhood to check out the damage. As he ambled down a street littered with fallen trees, he stumbled across a bizarre sight: a nun, in full-on habit and veil, going to town on a massive tree with a chainsaw.
This was none other than Sister Margaret Ann, a principal at a local Catholic high school hellbent on cleaning up some of the storm's damage to her neighborhood however she could. After witnessing a near car accident thanks to some fallen debris and a muddy road, she sprang into action, grabbing a few chainsaws that she remembered had been stashed away in the school's closet for some reason.
"They didn't belong there. They needed to be used," she told CNN on Wednesday. "So, there was a need, I had the means—so I wanted to help out."
Off she went, tearing down her quaint Miami street in full regalia, chainsaw in hand, ripping into the felled trees scattered all along the road. That's where the off-duty officer spotted her, recording the scene and uploading the footage to the Miami-Dade Police Department's Facebook and Twitter.
"He said, 'You know though, Sister, the police will do this.' And I said, 'But it's going to take them too long," Sister Ann told CNN. "'It's dangerous, people are going to get hurt here.'"
While some on Facebook seemed worried that Sister Ann's choice of clothing might not be the best for operating a powerful chainsaw, others were just grateful someone was out there doing their part. Her benevolent effort, while unorthodox, is just one example of how everyday heroes have stepped up to help those in need in the wake of Irma and Hurricane Harvey—from Houston's "Mattress Mack" letting hundreds of people sleep in his furniture showroom to the monster-truck drivers navigating the city's floodwaters.
"This was an opportunity where I could do something to help," Sister Ann said. "And thanks be to God I was able to do it."
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