Samaritan's Purse disaster relief staff members are monitoring Tropical Storm Isaac and prepared to respond as it approaches the U.S. mainland while threatening to grow to hurricane status.
The storm hit the Florida Keys with rain and strong winds on Sunday. It is expected to gain strength and become a hurricane as it churns through the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
The National Hurricane Center predicted it would grow to a Category 1 hurricane and possibly make landfall somewhere along the Gulf Coast late Tuesday with wind speeds of up to 90 mph. That would be one day before the seventh anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, which devastated the area in 2005.
Hurricane conditions could reach anywhere from the New Orleans metro area to the Florida Panhandle. The storm is large. Outer bands extend as far as 200 miles from its center, meaning it could cause significant damage even in places where it does not pass directly overhead.
Samaritan's Purse is positioning staff and supplies at our base in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, where we are rebuilding homes for victims of a tornado that struck last year. We are ready to move to wherever Isaac hits, and determine where we are most needed.
Isaac already caused major damage in the Caribbean, killing at least eight people and causing widespread flooding in Haiti.
Samaritan's Purse has been active in Haiti since the terrible earthquake in 2010. We are flying a load of heavy-duty plastic and 700 hygiene kits to Port-au-Prince Monday. Our staff will distribute the supplies to people affected by the storm.
Floodwater also brings the risk of another outbreak of cholera, an infection that has claimed over 7,000 lives since the first outbreak in 2010.
Please pray for the people in the path of the storm. Pray for the people of Haiti still trying to recover from the earthquake, and for our staff as we prepare to respond to Isaac in the U.S.
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