Update From the Dominican Republic

Tropical storm Noel

Ashley called again today. We had a little more time to talk this morning (and maybe we’re better able to talk, having already processed that our daughter is in a flood in a distant country).

Although the weather maps show tropical storm Noel as having moved away north and west, the orphanage is still getting heavy rain. Ashley says the water continues to rise, with ten inches of water in the front yard now. The raised sidewalk around the house and out to the front remains above water, though. Once again, they won’t have school today.

Ashley assumed flooding is a regular event near the orphanage since heavy rain is so common but was told that they’ve never had flash flooding in that area before.

The power came on for about five hours last night so Ashley was able to charge her cell phone. They were probably able to run the well pumps to refill the fresh water tanks on top of the houses. Internet access via satellite is still blocked by the rain.

When I told Ashley that the news had reported 6-8 deaths in the Dominican Republic from Noel, she said shacks housing around 60 people across the road from the orphanage had been washed away in the middle of the night. The status of the people is unknown.

Please keep the Dominican Republic in your prayers.

Tropical Storm Noel

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The ringing of the telephone woke me this morning. It was Ashley, “Just in case the Dominican Republic is in your news today, I wanted you to know I’m okay.”

The National Hurricane Center in Miami called Noel, which formed Sunday, “a major flood threat.” The storm could dump 8 to 12 inches of rain on the Dominican Republic, Cuba, Haiti and Jamaica, with totals as high as 20 inches in some areas.

The rain is flooding in and around the orphanage where Ashley is working. One of the homes has a foot of water in it. The back of Ashley’s home has three inches of water against its foundation. Although they have no power, this is a common occurrence and may not be related to the storm.

There have been no injuries at the orphanage, but the status of some students who live off-campus was not yet known.

Ashley asked that the orphanage be remembered in our prayers.