The Rotary Club of New York                                                    








September 8, 2003




Fellow Rotarians,


Last night, I wrote to you that our next meeting on September 9th is District Governor’s day. Since then I have found out that our District Governor David “Sully” Sullivan is not able to come. The reason is the disaster in Bermuda as a result Hurricane Fabian, which is the worst in 50 years. Reuter’s news agency has written the following about Hurricane Fabian:


HAMILTON, Bermuda (Reuters) - Thousands of residents of Bermuda were still without power on Sunday as the mid-Atlantic British colony cleared felled trees and debris from Hurricane Fabian's devastating hit.


There was no official estimate of damage yet, but Fabian's 120-mph winds appeared to have damaged or destroyed the roofs of several thousand homes and businesses when it roared over the 22-square-mile island on Friday.


Four people, three of them police officers, were missing and presumed dead after their two cars were swept from a causeway into the ocean during the storm, the most powerful hurricane to hit Bermuda in 50 years.


Fabian ripped roofs from buildings, damaged some hotels, felled trees and power lines on the island, an offshore financial center and tourist playground that is home to 62,000.


At one point, some 25,000 homes and businesses -- out of 32,000 customers of the Bermuda Electric Light Company, or BELCO -- were without power. By Sunday afternoon, power had been restored to 11,000 of those customers, said BELCO spokeswoman Linda Smith.


Some 330 members of Bermuda's part-time army, the Bermuda Regiment, were working with government engineers to clear trees and debris and mend roofs.


"We are in the clean-up mode," said government spokeswoman Nea Talbot.


Insurance giant XL Capital Ltd., which has its headquarters in Bermuda, was flying in a private jet on Sunday evening with 10 generators, stocks of batteries, and 200 tarpaulin sheets to repair homes.


Rescue workers were still searching for the four missing people, after finding their cars on Saturday. "The whole of Bermuda is waiting and praying for their safety," Talbot said.

All major roads on the small island were cleared, but there were still thousands of trees and branches by the roadsides.


Bermuda International Airport was opened on Saturday for private aircraft and was due to open on Monday for commercial flights, said airport general manager James Howes.

The grayish black rocks all along the south shore off Bermuda's most famous beaches such as Horseshoe Bay and Elbow Beach were pockmarked with white patches after large bits of rock were blown off.


With Fabian's fierce assault forecast well before it hit, most residents stocked up with supplies such as food, flashlights and buckets.


After hitting Bermuda, Fabian weakened slightly as it headed north over the weekend and posed no threat to land. But large swells generated by the hurricane were expected to affect parts of the U.S. East Coast.


On Sunday at 11 a.m. EDT (1500 GMT), Fabian was about 360 miles south of Cape Race Newfoundland, near latitude 41.4 north, longitude 52.2 west, the U.S. National Hurricane Center (news - web sites) in Miami said. Carrying maximum winds of up to 90 mph, it was heading northeast at around 25 mph and was expected to continue on this course over the next 24 hours, forecasters said.



New York Rotary President Greg Lynch wrote the following message today to District Governor Sully:


Dear Governor Sully,  


I understand that as a result of Hurricane Fabian, Bermuda has just experienced its worst hurricane in 50 years. The weather forecast seems to indicate that there may be more bad news on its way. 


The people of New York are no strangers to adversity and we stand with you in this challenge.  As in New York, the Rotarians of Bermuda will want to do what needs to be done to help fellow citizens, now, and to help the Island recover. 


Under the circumstances, the members of New York Rotary (NY6) understand that your place is in Bermuda.  We wish you, as well as all Rotarians and our many friends in Bermuda, God Speed.   We look forward to welcoming you to New York Rotary, when the circumstances warrant. 


Best regards,


Greg Lynch


The Rotary Club of New York


The disaster in Bermuda is upsetting to compassionate Rotarians around the world and it is even more upsetting to us, because Bermuda is located in our own Rotary District 7230.


Governor Sully and other Rotarians in Bermuda, you are in our thoughts and prayers!


We will have our Rotary meeting tomorrow on Tuesday September 9th and we can discuss at that meeting what we can do to help our fellow Rotarians in Bermuda.


Last time we had a major disaster in our Rotary District, was the World Trade Center Disaster on September 11th, 2001. That happened in our backyard. The Fabian Hurricane Disaster happened in the backyard of our Bermuda Rotarians. The question is what can we do to help our fellow Rotarians in Bermuda to help their community?


Yours in Rotary Service!



Matts Ingemanson


Internet Communications Division

The Rotary Club of New York