Hurricane Ian -
Sep 28 - Oct 2, 2022
This Category 4 hurricane had a very peculiar track as it was initially supposed to hit the southern edge of Florida and the go west into the Gulf of Mexico: however, it had its own plan and took a devastating and somewhat unexpected turn north on the western shores of the state and made landfall in the general area of Ft Myers.
Outlying areas such as Iona and Sanibel Island were completely decimated.
Towns like Arcadia were completely submerged.
The storm then headed East over the state and continued its deadly journey into the east-northeastern parts of the state.
Cities and towns along the St. Johns River (which flows north) were saturated and left completely inaccessible.
Our team was on the ground for a total of 6 days and completed almost 40 rescue operations, 3 structure security details and one light recon.
Months later, right before the holidays, it was noted that many towns were still submerged in water in some areas.
Sadly, this storm claimed 157 lives between Cuba and the United States.
Hurricane Ian (*photo from WikiPedia)
Hurricane Ida -
August 29, 2021
This Category 4 hurricane broke records for formation as it collected within 48 hours: disallowing time for proper evacuation orders.
Within one hour of arrival, our team was being battered by 55 mph winds and by evening were sitting out a storm with 145 mph sustained winds and whipping rain..
The first fatality was reported within the first 24 hours as a man was crushed by a tree.
The next morning the team was doing rescues in low water, low-lying areas of the lower 9th ward in New Orleans and were later dispatched to assist with efforts in Metairie, Louisiana.
Later that same day, distress calls were pouring in from LaPlace, LA and the St. John the Baptist Parish.
Collaborative efforts (of multiple rescue units) resulted in thousands of rescues over the next week.
Our team left 11 days later with conditions in southern Louisiana as: residents have no electricity in 85% of the southern areas, no running water and major food necessities.
Hurricane Ida AUG 29 2021 (formed AUG 26)
Link #2: https://youtu.be/YiUfyD1acZA
Hurricane Sally -
September 11, 2020
The US Veterans Hall of Fame rescue team was initially stationed in the western portions of Louisiana assisting with the evacuees and victims of Hurricane Laura when the siren sounded for this storm.
As 2020 has shown, Murphy's law had this storm forecast for portions of Louisiana and Mississippi.
As the team hunkered down and helped residents prepare for new waves of rain and wind the storm took a turn, providing relief for states already drenched and worn, but causing fear for those in the neighboring states of Alabama and Florida, as well as some near Gulfport.
Early September 10th the storm died down to a Category 1 hurricane, but in the later hours of the day it revved up to a strong Category 3 storm that flooded and damaged cities from Mobile, AL to Pensacola, FL and from Gulf Breeze over to parts of Panama City (Bay County).
Storm surges as high as 15 feet were recorded in some areas.
*photo credit News 4 Jacksonville
Hurricane Laura -
August 27, 2020
This storms track was initially forecast as a lower to mid-level category 2 landfall. However, perfect water temperatures and little wind-sheer gave Laura favorable conditions of strengthening to a upper level Category 4 storm overnight. Sustained wind speeds of 140 mph were reached just before landfall and gusts up to 150 were recorded.
The towns of Cameron and Lake Charles Louisiana took the brunt of the storm as the eye-wall crashed into the cities at around 1:00 a.m. Several coastal towns along the Louisiana and Texas border suffered catastrophic damage as this unrelenting storm wreaked havoc in the dark of night. Storm surge as high as 15 feet were recorded as well: as witnessed in Cameron, LA. Two story homes were submerged and remain with some surrounding water today. Initially close to 900,000 lost power as well.
Rescue operations were slowed due to COVID-19 protocol, yet successful.
*photo credit the Independent
Hurricane Dorian -
August 24th 2019
Dorian was originally expected and forecast to be a fast moving, low-category storm, but those forecast were quickly done away with as the storm seemingly stalled in the Atlantic and maneuvered through the Caribbean Islands while growing stronger.
The storm was forecast as well to be a Category 2, and potentially a Category 3, as it pushed towards Puerto Rico, but again it curved around expectations and only side swiped the large island and slowed more at sea.
A few days later, Dorian grew to an unprecedented Category 5 with sustained winds of over 185 mph and gusts up to 225 mph.
In it's sights were the islands of the Bahamas.
Grand Bahama Island and the Abaco Islands would see devastation like never before as the storm crept slowly at speeds between 2 and 8 mph over the course of two straight days. Hundreds were reported dead and thousands missing.
Only when a front from the west pushed it's way through would the storm finally turn north and head for the U.S. eastern coast.
A weakened Category 2 to low Category 3 storm would skirt Georgia and the Carolina's (namely Charleston and the Myrtle Beach regions) for three days only lightly flooding some areas, but with several reports of tornadoes, high wind gusts and the aftermath of trees and power-lines down.
Ocracoke Island would be the U.S. highest casualty of the event with severe flooding washing out roads and ports, leaving hundreds stranded on the island to wait out the storm.
Hurricane Dorian SEPTEMBER 2019
*photo credit www.Military.com
DISASTER RELIEF DRIVES
The US Veterans Hall of Fame would like to collaborate with your corporate and community associations, year round to collect items for disaster relief efforts that impact our nation.
Please send us an email with the subject "Disaster Relief" today so that we can find ways to attach to your passion project of relief efforts!
Hurricane Michael -
OCT 7th, 2018
This storm quickly set records as it grew in size, speed, velocity and range in it's first 72 hours: quickly identifying as a Category 5 hurricane aiming at the Florida Panhandle, Southern Georgia and the entire Gulf Coast.
By the time evacuations were mandated the storm had picked up enough speed to catch the tail-ends of evacuees, trapping many in place.
Much of southern Georgia and Florida were left without power and clean water and cities such as Panama City, Mexico Beach and others were completely decimated in 36 hours or less from wind speeds clocked at 150 mph.
Tornado's were spotted within the storm as well: hidden by torrential rain and cloud cover.
Thirty-plus fatalities were initially reported within the first 24 hours post-landfall and hundreds were reported missing within the first 5 days, with many families not knowing whether or not their loved ones had evacuated.
Rescue efforts by V.E.R.U. began October 9th and continue through the holiday season of 2018. As with previous operations as volunteers, we remain in coordination with local county sheriffs.
Hurricane Michael OCT 2018
6 Months After Hurricane Michael
- April 14, 2019
Hurricane Florence -
SEPT 13, 2018
This storm started off as a potential Category 3 hurricane that hurdled towards the eastern United States coast. On the eve of it's landfall, the storm was downgraded to a lower level Category 1 storm.
More surprisingly, the storm took an unpredictable change in speed and hovered over the eastern fringe of North Carolina for 5 straight days, dumping torrential rain on cities stretching from New Bern, NC to Swansboro, NC and making a catastrophic impact on Wilmington by heaving up to 5 feet of rain in some areas.
Geographically the storm was a nightmare as the cities geological structure are a natural "bowl" in shape and the rain had little chance of draining out into the Atlantic quickly. This caused more permanent damage to towns and cities as reservoirs and streams backed up and flooded inland for hundreds of miles.
Rescue efforts by V.E.R.U. expanded from 2 day operations to 8 day operations as volunteers, in coordination with local county sheriffs.