Hurricane Sally came ashore with a powerful punch of both winds and what the National Hurricane Center is calling "historic and catastrophic flooding."
Pensacola, Florida, for example, received 30 inches of rain -- that's the equivalent of FOUR MONTHS of rain in a span of about four hours. That volume of water simply overwhelmed the city and "turned streets into white-capped rivers," according to USA Today. A section of the Three Mile Bridge that connects Pensacola Beach and Gulf Breeze to the main city was destroyed when some barges broke free (photo below).
Hundreds of thousands are without power and many are without running water. Downed trees and flooding has made many roads impassable.
+ + Mercy Chefs is mobilizing
Ann and I arrived in Birmingham last night so that this morning we could head to the heart of the strike zone. We already have specific requests for help from our contacts in some of the hardest hit communities. Our plan is to make a final determination on the deployment site or sites later today so we can move our mobile kitchens and get started serving meals as quickly as possible.
The first 72 hours are always the most critical with every disaster deployment. The most critical needs must be met as soon as possible, and to do that, I am going to once again rely on our faithful Mercy Chefs friends and partners.
Can I count on your help today? Go here to make your tax-deductible gift to Mercy Chefs as we deploy for Hurricane Sally and continue other vital efforts:
This will likely be another very difficult and very challenging deployment. A widespread area has been impacted by this hurricane. This combined with the flooding will make accessing resources even more difficult.
We just finished two extensive emergency deployments during which our output of meals far exceeded my expectations and initial projections. Costs ran high as well. I need your help so we can meet the critical needs that are now in front of us.
Most important of all, please pray for those who were caught in the path of this storm. In one community, 370 people had to be rescued by emergency workers. That's just one community! This is still a dangerous situation, and many people are going to need help.
I'll share more details hopefully later today as our deployment plans are finalized. Thank you so much in advance for your prayers and your financial support.
Gary LeBlanc, Mercy Chefs
Top photo: facebook.com/joshua.montuori