- Foundations of Truth
Sharks in the Street
The devastating damage of Hurricane Ian is being assessed after it raked through parts of Florida, leaving the coastline forever altered. The Hurricane was a category 4 ranking it in the top 5 powerful hurricanes that have hit Florida.[i] How will the state recover and what can others do to help? Will there be sharks in the water?
Giving it names such as “monster storm” and “500-year event” Hurricane Ian was a giant hurricane that hit the American mainland. Many people chose not to evacuate as the storm pounded their homes and lifted homes from their foundations. Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno predicted, “while we don’t have confirmed numbers, I definitely know the fatalities are in the hundreds”.[ii]
Damaging 120-150 mile an hour winds left part of the Florida coastline beyond recognition. A historic pier is gone, and parts of the Sanibel Causeway are washed away. “Cities don’t look like cities anymore”.[iii] As the water recedes, the devastation is being measured. Vacation paradise Sanibel Island sustained so much damage and the magnitude of cleanup so overwhelming that the 6,500 locals are not sure when or if they will be allowed to return. The island boasts some 14,000 tourists during the “season”. Visited by celebrities and those seeking relief from frigid climates at home, the island has been a popular retreat.[iv] Now, “lots of places are not livable…there are alligators…and there are snakes all over the place” reported Sanibel Fire Chief William Briscoe.[v]
Fort Myers faced the fury of the storm and lost. City Councilman Bill Veach said his 90-year-old cottage was in ruins. “When you are walking around, it’s an apocalyptic scene,” Veach said of his neighborhood. More than 1,900 residents were rescued from the debris. The county manager of Fort Myers reported the surge wiped out homes and businesses and may take a month to restore power.
At one point during the Hurricane, there was a report of sharks swimming in the streets of Fort Myers.[vi] In the aftermath, more sharks of a different variety are beginning to appear. Already looters have been arrested on Sanibel Island and in Fort Myers.[vii] Floridians have been given a hotline to report price gouging for supplies and materials needed for the recovery. The poor are often hit the hardest with little means to recover from their loss. The sharks will come out to play.
Christians can respond to help. “The damage is incredible-these people need our prayers and our support,” said Samaritan’s Purse President Franklin Graham.”[viii] They need both donations of money and volunteer hours. [ix] The National Christian Foundation urges people to step out in one or more of 5 ways: donate cash now; donate cash later; donate non-cash items; donate through a reputable agency; pray.[x] Galatians 6:2 reminds us to “carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.
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[i] https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/hurricane-ian-continues-batter-florida-weakened-category-1-storm-rcna49924 [ii] https://www1.cbn.com/cbnnews/us/2022/september/sharks-in-the-streets-homes-floating-away-monster-storm-ian-now-heads-to-georgia-and-carolinas [iii] https://www1.cbn.com/cbnnews/us/2022/september/hurricane-ian-heads-for-carolinas-after-pounding-florida [iv] https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2022/10/02/hurricane-ian-sanibel/ [v] https://www.cnn.com/2022/10/04/us/hurricane-ian-florida-recovery-tuesday/index.html [vi] https://www1.cbn.com/cbnnews/us/2022/september/sharks-in-the-streets-homes-floating-away-monster-storm-ian-now-heads-to-georgia-and-carolinas [vii] https://wflanews.iheart.com/featured/florida-news/content/2022-09-30-looters-arrested-following-hurricane-ian-devastating-southwest-florida/ [viii] https://samaritanspurse.org/our-ministry/hurricane-ian/ [ix] https://www.redcross.org/about-us/news-and-events/news/2022/red-cross-responds-to-hurricane-ian.html [x] https://www.moneywise.org/national-christian-foundation/5-ways-to-help-victims-of-hurricane-ian-4230