Hurricane Damage Update

We will try and post what we know about the conditions in Bonita.  This is Pastor Jeff and I am in St. Louis.  The information I post will be from what I am hearing from people in Bonita, it is not first hand “boots on the ground” information.

Wednesday – 7:30 pm –

Dear Anchor Family,

Wanted to send one more email before we hit the road.  We are leaving early in the morning and hope to travel to Tallahassee, FL tomorrow (Wednesday)  and drive to Bonita on Thursday.

Here is what I know about current conditions:

1 –  Some areas of Bonita have power but it is scattered.  Areas of Naples are getting power.  Robert just texted me and said they just got power back (they had gone to get gas and waited 3.5 hours in line!)

2 – The water is going down in some areas rather quickly but the sheet flow south of E. Terry and north of Bonita Beach road still is causing problems.  We did not have water in the church yesterday morning but the water went up overnight and no one has reported to me today.  No one has gone by the church that I know of.  East Terry was closed to traffic today.

Several have asked about Citrus Park.  I would suggest going to “Citrus Park Bonita Springs” Facebook page.  There are many pictures there.  There is a lot of wind damage all over the park and water every where.  I wish I could give you better news but that is what I know at this time.

What does the future hold?  Here is what we have planned for the immediate future.  Once I get to Bonita I may have to alter these plans but here are the tentative plans listed by priority:

1 – Help the Anchor families who are currently in Bonita.  I have heard of some damage to homes of our members and a lot of trees down.  We want to help those families with their immediate needs.

2 – Check on the homes of those who are up north.  You will need to request us to check on your place.  Please email me and we will begin a list.  Some areas still are not accessible because of downed power lines.  We will do what we can by driving by but obviously cannot go inside and assess any damage.

3 – On Saturday we will coordinate a work day from Anchor.  I have had some churches contact me that want to send down some teams.  I will work with those teams and Anchor members to meet priorities one and two above.

4 – Prepare meals to be taken to the Fire Stations so the firemen who are rotating duty can have something already prepared to eat and don’t have to do it themselves.

5  – Prepare meals to be taken to workers, volunteers, and residents who need food.

6 – Adopt a family – Bob & Alice Weimerskirch – with their needs.  They were referred to me by the Fire Department.  They ran a day care in their home and care for many of the firemen’s children.  They have lost their home and everything in it.  This will involve financial needs and physical needs.  I will keep you posted on this.

Those are the things we are going to focus on.  There is much to be done but we will be more effective if we can focus our man power and financial resources.  We can’t do everything but we can make a difference in some specific areas.

Here are some specifics you can help with:

1 – We will meet at the church at 9:00 am Saturday morning (assuming the water has receded) and organize teams to go out in the community.  Teams will help with cleaning up homes, making meals, and delivering meals.  Bring as much equipment, food, etc. as you can.  We don’t have all of the supplies collected and waiting for us.  We will try to buy what we can but supplies may be limited.

2 – We will meet for worship on Sunday morning at 9:30 am at the church (assuming we have areas to park in).  We may not have power but we don’t need electricity to worship the Lord.

3 – Next week we will continue to work in the community trying to meet the objectives listed above as much as we can.

4 – Continue to pray for recovery and give thanks for all the protection He provided.

If you want to make a financial donation to help make all of this happen, just send it to Anchor and mark it Hurricane Relief.  We will make sure it goes directly to help others.

Sorry for the length of this, but there is a lot to cover.  Let’s turn this tragedy into a great opportunity to be the hands, feet, and heart of Jesus!

In Christ,

Pastor Jeff

Tuesday – 8:00 am – Getting a little more news from people in Bonita.  There is a lot of water and downed trees.  The “sheet flow” from east of Bonita is going to be an issue for several days to come.  I have talked to many who are heading back to Florida who evacuated as well as several snowbirds who have property here.  If you are coming back and do not have food and water at home, it would be a good idea to bring some with you.  Power is still out in most of Bonita and gas is hard to get.  Ironically, I talked to someone who has a condo on Bonita Beach and they had power out there.

Some of the Publix grocery stores are reopening today or tomorrow at 8:00 am.

I don’t know much about Citrus Park other than the obvious – there is a lot of water there.  Have not spoken to anyone who has been over there.

We are still planning on having a worship service at 9:30 am on Sunday if the water has gone down enough so that we can park.  Keep checking.

 

Monday – 11:30 am – Talked with Jody Pugh who was at the church.  Church building appears to be structurally sound with no damage.  The building is surrounded by water but doesn’t appear to be inside.  He did not go inside.  E. Terry Street is completely flooded.  Worse than it was two weeks ago.

Conditions at Citrus Park?  Have not heard any reports.  My assumption – flooding is probably worse than it was two weeks ago with all the rain.  If I hear something definitive I will post it.

Power Outages – As far as I know there is no power in Bonita.

Obviously no Wednesday night programming at the church this week.

WE ARE PLANNING ON HAVING A PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING WORSHIP SERVICE NEXT SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 17 AT 9:30 am.  NO 11:00 am SERVICE.