Operation Compassion Continues Disaster Relief to Florida

By , August 20, 2004

One week ago today Florida residents were preparing for a strong category two hurricane named Charley. As Charley churned its way onto the western coastline, it quickly intensified into a category four storm. As Charley made landfall, it was evident that the damage and destruction would be much worse than originally anticipated.
When the sun dawned on Saturday, the devastation that was left in Charley’s wake was finally realized. Houses, business and house trailers were reduced to kindling. Mobile home parks looked like a pile of pickup sticks. Trees and power lines were lying on the ground. Hundreds of thousands of Florida’s residents were without power, water, gas or food. In a few short hours, lives were turned upside down and scores of families lost everything they owned.

Early estimates account for about eleven billion in insured property loss. Many families did not have insurance, as those early estimates will be adjusted upward. Beside the property damage, there were losses of commerce as well. Tourists went home or never came and about thirty-five percent of the citrus crop was lost.

The worse loss was the fatalities. Twenty-three fatalities have been blamed on Hurricane Charley, as authorities fear that total may continue to climb since there are some people still missing. Authorities have been searching door to door checking on residents.

In the midst of this catastrophe, Operation Compassion continues to deliver semi trucks of disaster relief supplies to five distribution points. The trucks began rolling into Florida shortly after Charley made landfall and have continued virtually non-stop. The thirty-third semi truck from Operation Compassion was delivered today with others staged and ready for delivery.

The logistics of getting the supplies into the disaster area has been extremely difficult. Long delays for drivers trying to get through security and the fact that there are no paid return loads available are exacerbating the difficulties. However, Operation Compassion has found companies and drivers that are willing to do what they can to deliver to the disaster centers.

Operation Compassion and their partners are continuing to do all they can to meet the needs of this disaster. The elderly, single parent families and children are enduring the brunt of the aftermath of Charley. However, after one week, there is hope! Cleanup is underway, power and telephone service are being slowly restored, insurance companies are starting to write checks and construction crews are beginning to make initial repairs.

During the next several weeks, Operation Compassion will be sending in more supplies as the needs change from food, water and cleaning supplies to construction and repair materials. Operation Compassion needs sponsors to help send semi trucks of disaster relief supplies. The cost is minimal, only $1,500 per semi truck.

Please send your donations to or contact:

Operation Compassion
Dr. John D. Nichols, President
David Lorency, International Director
Tim Burdashaw, International Operations Coordinator

114 Stuart Road, NE Suite 370
Cleveland, TN 37312
423.728.3932 Office
423.728.3958 Fax
www.operationcompassion.org

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