At presstime, Charley,
Frances, Ivan and Jeanne had killed 108 people in the United States,
damaged more than 130 Lutheran churches and one-in-five Florida homes,
caused $17.8 billion in insured losses and $20 billion in uninsured
losses in Florida alone, and led to the largest-ever deployments of the
Red Cross and Federal Emergency Management Agency--larger even than
Sept. 11, 2001.
Since the hurricanes began Aug. 13, Lutheran Disaster Response–Team Florida has:
• Established counseling sites for rostered leaders and their families in six areas of Florida.
• Served 1,100 meals to Hurricane Charley victims.
• Received the gifts of 700 volunteers who worked 3,500 hours.
• Distributed $120,000 in food and supplies.
Four hurricanes and a tropical storm left Lutherans in the Florida-Bahamas Synod struggling to put their lives back together.
"Hardly anyone has been left untouched by these events," said synod Bishop Edward Benoway, who along with his staff has spent a great deal of time visiting with pastors and churches in areas affected by the storms.
Even if homes weren't damaged, gas shortages, empty grocery shelves from interrupted deliveries and power outages changed the way millions of people lived, often for weeks in a row. Florida's major industries — tourism and citrus fruit — also suffered damage. The state lost up to 75 percent of its total citrus crop to the storm.
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© 2014 Augsburg Fortress, Publishers