After many obstacles and work in many countries, the wife and children of the Chabad Shluchim on the Caribbean island of St. Martin, stranded in treacherous conditions after the devastation by Hurricane Irma, were airlifted to safety.
Rabbi Moishe Chanowitz, his wife Sara, and five children under age 8, remained on the island to offer assistance to others during Hurricane Irma. During the storm, they sheltered in the Mikvah of the Chabad Center, while their home and the center were damaged by the wind and torrential rain.
Hurricane Irma had flooded St. Barts, devastating that island and nearby St. Martin. All power went out, taking with it Internet access and cell-phone towers. The Chanowitz family soon found themselves stranded with a small generator and food supplies for only a few days.
Rabbi Chanowitz contacted Chabad Headquarters in New York, requesting help in evacuating his family from the island whose sea and air routes were closed.
Through the tireless efforts of the Chanowitz’s extended family and Chabad Headquarters – Merkos, the family was finally rescued by a plane which arrived to bring humanitarian aid to the area.
The pilot finally agreed to pick up the stranded family, and Sara boarded the plane with her five children just before Shabbos and were flown to Puerto Rico.
The Chabad Shliach decided to stay on the island to help others who are stranded and in desperate need of assistance.
Mrs. Chanowitz and her children are currently being hosted by the Shluchim to Puerto Rico, Rabbi Mendy and Rochie Zarchi.
To assist the Shluchim in their relief and recovery efforts, click here.