On August 25, the usually idyllic and remote Family Islands of the Bahamas were struck by Hurricane Irene. Starting as a category two storm with sustained winds of 90 mph, Irene strengthened to a category three as it passed through the islands.
The excessive wind and rain from Irene caused widespread destruction, with some reports to the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) estimating that 90% of settlements have been lost. Reports mentioned that house roofs and homes blew away, while power lines and trees were down in the roads. Winds were reported at 90-110 mph, and flooding was widespread.
On Cat Island, the roofs blew off of the Police Station in Arthur’s Town and St. Andrew’s Church. With devastation touching the farthest reaches of these islands, it is evident that help is needed to restore these homes and villages in this treasured cruising ground.
Below is a video animation from NASA of satellite observations from August 21 through August 29 showing the path of Irene from the Caribbean to Puerto Rico, Hispaniola, the Bahamas, the U.S. East Coast, and Canada:
The Remote Island Ministries has launched a relief effort for the Family Islands, and, specifically, Cat Island.
They announced that Missionary Flights International has donated the cost of flying an emergency cargo load to Cat Island, while the Salvation Army and Natalie’s Orchid Island Juice Company have donated pallets of water.
The Remote Island Ministries is addressing the potable water emergency by accepting donations. As a volunteer organization, 100% of every donation goes directly towards the relief effort. You can donate here to help address this tragedy in paradise.