Foundation Beyond Belief’s (FBB) Humanist Disaster Recovery raised funds to assist those most in need in the wake of storm damage from multiple hurricanes hitting the United States and the Caribbean in fall 2017.
One of those hurricanes, Hurricane Irma, was the second most powerful Atlantic hurricane ever recorded. Irma has left an enormous trail of destruction as the 400 mile-wide storm tore through the Caribbean and into the southeastern United States, including Florida, Georgia and South Carolina. Flood levels along the river in downtown Jacksonville, Florida have already surpassed previous highs recorded in 1864. "It's bad now. It's going to continue to get worse," Angie Enyedi. a meteorologist for the National Weather Service, said at a briefing on 9/11. Authorities are expecting the flooding to continue for about a week. Emergency operations manager of Clay County, John Ward, said 46 people had been rescued from flooded homes and more than 26 river gauges in northern Florida are in major flood stage. Historic Charleston, South Carolina, while not directly in the storm’s path, is flooded due to a combination of heavy rains and storm surge. Ari Sarsalari, a meteorologist for The Weather Channel, stated on 9/11 that "the biggest issues, I would say right now, are [in] Charleston."
On the island of St. Martin, with a population of approximately 70,000, Daniel Gibb, a local official on the French side, reported it was “95% destroyed,” while officials on the Dutch side said 70% of their homes were uninhabitable. In Puerto Rico, at least one million people are without power and tens of thousands are without water, and in the United States, more than 7 million are without power and outages could last days to weeks in some areas. FEMA reported 192,000 people are in 590 shelters across multiple states, while major flooding is being reported across the southeast.
FBB thanks the American Humanist Association for supporting this Humanist Disaster Recovery effort. Photo courtesy of NOAA/NASA GOES Project.