Hard on the heels of Hurricane Harvey, Hurricane Irma grew into one of the most powerful storms ever recorded over the Atlantic Ocean before reaching land in the northeast Caribbean early last Wednesday, killing 36 people. As we all have seen over the past few days, the storm then made its way to the United States and has prompted massive evacuations throughout much of Florida, killing 6 more people in its path of destruction. FEMA reports Irma has destroyed approximately 25% of the homes in the Florida Keys and another 65% of homes have suffered major damage. There are still millions of residents without power. Undoubtedly the recovery efforts will take months and years.
As rescue and relief efforts continue, I ask that you please keep all those who have been impacted by this natural disaster, including 16 graduate Gonzaga students from the state of Florida and their families, in your thoughts and prayers.
Various charities are working tirelessly to serve people, pets, aid workers, and entire communities with the support they need. The Red Cross has set up a special donation website at https://www.redcross.org/donate/hurricane-irma-donations
for those wishing to contribute to relief efforts. Thank you for any support you can provide to those in need.
Thayne M. McCulloh, D.Phil.
President, Gonzaga University