The conditions here are BRUTAL -- some of the worst I've seen -- for the search teams working long shifts at the site of the Miami condo collapse.
Since we arrived, South Florida has been gripped by oppressive heat, humidity, and rain. Plus, Elsa brought high winds to Florida with up to 40 MPH gusts here in Surfside. Here's how a search and rescue worker from Pennsylvania described what the teams are facing:
"The winds are impacting the operations for the cranes, the lightning, it’s all those combined together, kind of like the perfect storm.... The winds, the sand, the dust, the debris blowing around, it gets in your eyes and your face. Everybody’s wearing respirators ... but it gets everywhere."
One team that has been on site from the beginning was told they could go home, but they refused. These brave men and women just keep going back to work on the pile, determined to help bring some sense of closure to the families of the victims.
+ + Need help this weekend
The number of meals we are serving has increased again. Now that the rest of the building has been demolished, the crews are making great progress as they continue to work 12-hour shifts. Mercy Chefs is providing meals to these teams whenever they are working. We have had to expand to two shifts to serve the overnight teams. This has been one of the most physically taxing deployments we've had (the temperature inside our mobile kitchen reached 116 degrees the other day!).
With our meals increasing and the drain of this deployment hitting everyone here, I need help this weekend.
If you haven't done so already, would you help sponsor 10, 20, 50 or even 100 meals for these search teams? Go here to make your best possible tax-deductible gift as we provide hot meals to these teams and continue other vital efforts:
Even if you've already donated, please consider helping again! This is a major deployment for Mercy Chefs that will last over a month. But we are determined to serve these heroes -- whatever it takes.
Please pray. And please help today.
Gary LeBlanc, Mercy Chefs
P.S. If the Lord has blessed you financially, perhaps you would consider helping in a big way. A gift of $3,500 will help us serve about 1,000 meals -- that's two full shifts of search and rescue workers plus part of a third shift. Of course, every gift will help. To donate online or for mailing instructions if you prefer to give by check, go here:
Image source: Miami-Dade rescue twitter
Video report from Surfside: