Samaritan’s Purse Responding in Florida After Hurricane Irma

September 16, 2017 • United States

We are helping homeowners clean up after the storm battered the Sunshine State.

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Samaritan’s Purse has two teams in Florida to help families in hard-hit Naples and Fort Myers recover from Hurricane Irma. Our volunteers are coming alongside distressed homeowners in the Name of Jesus Christ—chainsawing trees, tarping roofs, and performing mud-outs.

First Baptist Church, located at 3000 Orange Blossom Drive, is our host church in Naples. Our base of operations in Fort Myers is McGregor Baptist Church, located at 3750 Colonial Boulevard. A disaster relief unit is at each site, and both are from Samaritan’s Purse-Canada, one of our international affiliate offices.

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“My prayers are with the many who have seen their homes and businesses devastated by Irma’s wind and water. They will now be facing an overwhelming clean-up,” said Samaritan’s Purse President Franklin Graham. “I pray especially for those who have lost loved ones in the storm. I know they would appreciate your prayers as well.”

“My prayers are with the many who have seen their homes and businesses devastated by Irma’s wind and water.”—Franklin Graham

Millions of people in Florida—the country’s third most populous state—remain without power.

After Irma ripped through the Caribbean—killing 36 people and obliterating island after island as one of the most powerful Atlantic Ocean storms in recorded history—it smashed into the Florida Keys on Sept. 10 as a Category 4 storm. Losing just a little steam to a Category 3, it made a second landfall that afternoon on Marco Island, near Naples on the Gulf Coast.

The storm barreled north, spawning tornadoes. It was wide enough to churn up both coastlines at the same time with rain, wind, and storm surge. Power lines were downed, trees uprooted, and in Miami, streets turned into raging rivers of floodwaters.

According to reports, at least 26 people have died in Florida due to Irma, including two police officers. Six million people heeded evacuation orders before Irma struck.

In addition to our work in Florida, Samaritan’s Purse is sending relief supplies to hard-hit islands of the Caribbean. Via multiple flights by our DC-8 plane, we have already sent food, blankets, shelter plastic, hygiene kits, and water purification units to St. Martin for thousands of families. We have more than 20 staff members on the ground there. More airlifts are on their way soon as we expand our response to Antigua and Barbuda.

Texas Relief Update

Hurricanes Irma and Harvey marked the first time in 166 years of weather records that two Category 4 hurricanes made landfall in the U.S. during the same year. They struck just over two weeks apart.

In Texas, Samaritan’s Purse remains committed to assisting homeowners swamped by Hurricane Harvey. To date, more than 2,400 families have requested help, and more than 3,200 volunteers have stepped forward to demonstrate the love of God. And they have not been ashamed to share their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. So far, more than 150 people have prayed to receive Him as Lord and Savior. Also, more than 100 Billy Graham Rapid Response Team chaplains have prayed with more than 5,800 people.

“There is no short fix,” said Luther Harrison, vice president of our North American Ministries. “Please pray that God will show us where we need to be and that He will provide the volunteers to minister to the families who will need help.”

Note: This article was originally published Sept. 11 and has been updated through Sept. 16.

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Hurricane Relief Samaritan's Purse
Hurricane Relief Samaritan's Purse responds to the urgent needs of families devastated by the wind, rain, and storm surge of catastrophic hurricanes. Whether in the United States or abroad, we come alongside hurting people to bring emergency relief and practical help in the Name of Jesus Christ.

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