Tuesday, October 25, 2016

100 Year Flood

On Friday, Oct. 22, Haiti experienced what is being called a 100 year flood.  October is typically the rainy season and indeed, it had been raining most afternoons since the Oct. 3-4 hurricane.  But this was anything but typical.  It began raining Thursday night, Oct. 21.  It was a wide spread system that produced tropical downpours, with frequent thunder and lighting for more than 14 hours straight.  The main area affected was 20 miles on either side of Cayes, where RMI’s headquarters is located.  [The mission center and our facilities are located on a hill top and were not flooded, but several of our staffs’ homes were affected.]  As Friday dawned, it was clear that creeks and streams had become raging torrents and had overflowed their banks, flooding fields, homes, businesses, churches, school and towns.  The waters flowed freely over bridges and roads. 
RMI President, Dan Shoemaker, was in Haiti to see things first hand, and meet with and encourage our missionaries and staff there.  He was to leave that day.  They left for the Port-au-Prince airport at 5 a.m. but had to turn back within just a few minutes due to the high water overflowing the roads.  They waited until 9:30 a.m. to try again.  They made their way slowly through the flooded roads and mudslides and were finally able to get to the airport – too late to catch his flight to Miami – he was able to get a flight to Ft. Lauderdale and barely made that flight.  You can see a part of Dan’s trip HERE.  He said that he’d never seen that kind of flooding in all his 35+ years in Haiti.
Many people had started to re-build their roofs and tried to clean up but much of what was left after the hurricane was taken or destroyed in the flood waters.  The loss of animals, foundations of homes, stored food, personal belongings, vehicles and even actual land that was washed away is staggering.
This flood, in and of itself, was catastrophic.  Add it on top of the devastation of Hurricane Matthew and it only magnifies the need for aid: food, roofs, water filters, rebuilding homes, churches and schools to name just a few.
Pray for Haiti.  Pray for RMI as our staff continue to respond to the many needs around them and to the needs of our churches.
Help RMI help our brothers and sisters who have suffered so much loss.  You can give HERE.

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