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St. Pete group helping Central America families devastated by Hurricanes Eta and Iota

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Posted at 11:13 AM, Nov 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-19 20:53:36-05

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — A St. Petersburg disaster relief group is on a mission to help the people of Nicaragua and Honduras after they were hit by two major storms in just two weeks.

First, Nicaragua and Honduras were hit by Hurricane Eta. Then, Hurricane Iota left widespread devastation when it made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane on Nicaragua’s northeastern coast.

Iota hit nearly the same stretch of the coast devastated by Hurricane Eta.

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Now, St. Petersburg based Sol Relief is on a mission to help. They’re sending money donated to the hardest-hit areas so first responders and non-profit groups in Central America can buy supplies.

Sol Relief has already helped 8,000 families in need impacted by both hurricanes.

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Jen Lockwood, the Executive Director of Sol Relief, says communities in Honduras and Nicaragua are dealing with extensive flooding, landslides and losses of homes and businesses.

Tracy Harris, the Director of Operations for Sol Relief, says the need is even greater now that the areas in Central America are suffering from damage from two major hurricanes.

Sol Relief, based at Albert Whitted Airport in St. Pete, also helped provide supplies, money and relief to the Bahamas in the wake of Hurricane Dorian.

Those relief missions to the Bahamas continue. On Thursday, Sol Relief helped coordinate a $198,000 donation of waterproof roofing membranes donated by Winter Haven based Polyglass USA. The donation is headed to Marsh Harbour in Central Abaco.

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The organization partners with local pilots to deliver supplies to the hardest-hit areas.

Sol Relief also helped coordinate supplies of PPE for hospitals and nurses dealing with the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.

In Central America, Lockwood says Hurricanes Eta and Iota have leveled several villages and wiped out hundreds of homes, especially in remote areas.

To read more on Sol Relief’s efforts and find out how you can help, click here.