We know many of you have been waiting for an update on our beloved Everglades City Base Camp in Florida after Hurricane Ian. We are thankful to report that, while there is damage, the little island put its shoulder into the storm and came through better than we’d hoped! However, there is undoubtedly still work to do before we welcome staff and students back at the end of this month, but nothing near Hurricane Irma’s impact in 2017.
In assessing the damage to Sunset Island:
- The Base is currently without power, and the local power company was on site today
- The Lodge had little to no flooding
- Ground-level buildings (East and West Cottage) suffered flooding and will need the most work
- Some of the gangways and docks were shifted and will likely need outside assistance
- Multiple canoes will need repairs
Since Hurricane Irma, NCOBS has been working to make the necessary changes to the Florida base to withstand major weather events better. Additionally, our staff did a great job storm-proofing the Base when they closed it up earlier in the year with things being battened down, boats secured, electricity turned off, and most items stored on a second floor or in elevated buildings. While we are grateful that the damage was not worse, our thoughts are with those who lost so much in the storm.
We thank everyone who has reached out with love and support in the wake of Hurricane Ian. From board members offering their homes to staff members to staff who’ve volunteered to go down to Florida early to help with cleanup, we are grateful.
Should you want to help with our Ian recovery efforts, we have two different needs: volunteers and donations.
- WE NEED VOLUNTEERS AS SOON AS POSSIBLE: If you are interested in volunteering to help cleanup Sunset Island in the coming weeks, starting as early as this Friday, please email Philip Bassani, firstname.lastname@example.org, right away. We will also need skilled laborers/construction in mid-November.
- PLEASE CONSIDER MAKING A DONATION: The level of damage does not meet our insurance deductible, so we will be paying for all repairs out of pocket. If you would like to make a gift to support the Sunset Island Base Camp, please go to ncobs.org/donate and select “Everglades City, FL Base Camp” from the dropdown.
We know that Sunset Island and the Everglades City community is resilient. Thank you for your tremendous support of the School and our staff during this time of need. Together, we will recover from this storm!