URGENT: One week later, 1,000 people are still missing. Hurricane Michael was the strongest hurricane ever to come ashore along the Florida Panhandle and across the southeast, leaving millions without power and others in threat of toxic coal ash spills. Our neighbors in Florida and Alabama need our help NOW—rush your gift to the Sierra Club now and we’ll push every dollar to local recovery on the ground.
One week after Hurricane Michael, more than 1,000 people are still missing. At least 27 people have lost their lives.
Fourteen-foot storm surges. Tens of thousands of people unable to evacuate. Apalachicola underwater. Buildings collapsing in Panama City. Mexico Beach obliterated. RVs tossed through the air like toys, roofs peeled off motels and houses like sardine-can lids, toxic coal ash dumps threatening to breach and release arsenic, mercury, and lead into waterways.
James, with communities leveled, residents are still sheltering in schools, community centers, even state parks. We must push resources to local Florida and Alabama partners like Florida People’s Advocacy Center, Apalachicola Riverkeeper, and Mobile Baykeeper—now working on relief and recovery. Please, rush whatever you can spare to help community groups working around the clock to save our neighbors.
Michael was the strongest hurricane in history—since record keeping began in 1851—to hit the Florida panhandle. The storm’s peak winds upon landfall were the fourth-highest on record for the continental United States and reached a jaw-dropping 155 MPH.
What’s especially frustrating is that Michael’s intensity took forecasters by surprise—giving residents very little time to evacuate—because of climate change. Warm waters cause storms to accelerate and intensify to dangerous levels quickly—a pattern we saw with Hurricane Harvey in 2017, then Florence and now Michael.
This means we have to help those in Michael’s path now, in case another storm comes along and saps precious resources and human capital—especially in communities of color and in low-lying areas most at risk for flooding, contamination and disease.
Our thoughts and love go out to everyone affected by this truly catastrophic storm. We hope your loved ones are safe. And to everyone who stood with our hurricane-struck neighbors, thank you.
Sierra Club Florida Chapter