August 25th of this month marks the one year of Hurricane Katrina’s strike on South Florida. This series of recent photos taken at TigerHomes Sanctuary will give you a good idea of the remaining damage and progress made after the Sanctuary was hit by two major hurricanes last year. As many of you know, during the 2005 Hurricane Season the Sanctuary was hit hard by both Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Wilma. Here you can see the original photos of the damage at TigerHomes from the 2005 hurricane season: http://www.tigerhomes.org/animal/SANCT/
Katrina brought high winds and flood waters to the area in late August, turned through the Gulf of Mexico and bore down on the City of New Orleans. Flood waters broke the City’s levy and the loss of life there was staggering. Hurricane Katrina with known life loss counted at 1,836 individuals and damage exceeding $81 billion dollars became one of the deadliest and costliest storms in our Nation’s history.
But it was early the morning of October 24 th that Hurricane Wilma burst on-shore full throttle bearing down on South Florida and directly on the Sanctuary with sustained winds from 115-140 mph for a period in excess of five hours. It was this storm that did the most damage to the Sanctuary and to all of South Florida. For as powerful as the winds were – we were very lucky as loss of life was minimal. Clean up was not however. With most major lines down, power and phone service out for weeks on end the entire area was declared a State of Emergency.
Here is this photo you can see the old growth canopy where trees were snapped in half by the winds of the storm that are just now beginning to regenerate. Ground clean-up was a massive undertaking for an area the size of TigerHomes Sanctuary. The entire world watched and waited for updates from TigerHomes when Dave could report back to us. He was safe, not one animal was injured due to his expert preventative care and handling and we all breathed a BIG sigh of relief. The Sanctuary ran for weeks on generator power for the Main House, Data Center electronics and to keep fresh food for the Big Cats.
The ground damage and canopy destruction was of a magnitude hard to fathom. Habitat restoration and repairs were made first. Landscape clean-up followed with Cams, wiring and the website data center next to be tended. The Main House lost significant portions of the roof and the fencing around the entire perimeter of the property was destroyed. Even the solid wood entry gates were left hanging. Now came the business of salvage & clean-up.
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