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    SubjectHurricane Charley Caused Damages $11 Billion in Florida
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    World Hongming Foundation Calls for Assistance: 
    Hurricane Charley Caused Damages as High as $11 Billion in Florida

    Full report with photos and videos, see
    www.hongming.us/foundation/2004-8-15-Hurricane.htm

    On August 15, 2004, as the remnants of Hurricane Charley disintegrated off the New England coast on Sunday,
    Florida residents began the massive task of cleaning up from a storm that state officials estimated caused
    damages as high as $11 billion for insured homes alone. According to Tami Torres, a spokeswoman for state Chief
    Financial Officer Tom Gallagher, uninsured homes, business losses and damage to automobiles were not included.
    Thirty-one mobile-home parks in Charlotte County sustained major damage, some with more than 1,000 units,
    said Bob Carpenter, a sheriff's spokesman. He said teams were sent to each park to search for bodies and
    survivors, but "we just couldn't get the vehicles in — there is so much debris."

    In order to relieve the people in disasters, as a 501(c)(3) charitable and educational foundation in USA, the World
    Hongming Foundation would like to invite public donations to help the victims of the natural calamity.

    President Bush flew over the most heavily damaged areas in a Marine helicopter Sunday before landing in this
    retirement haven of 15,000 people, which was devastated by Charley. The storm left thousands temporarily
    homeless. "All the clothes that I've got now is just what I'm wearing now," one resident, George Nickols, told the
    president.

    Chad Maxwell shoveled up soggy ceiling tiles and shattered glass Sunday from the floor of the real estate office
    where he works in Punta Gorda. Looking at the coffee shop next door, which lost its second floor, and a florist with
    only one wall standing, he described his impression of downtown: "Beirut." "It looks like a bomb zone. Everything's
    gone. Everything's tore up," he said.

    The hardest-hit areas appeared to be Punta Gorda and Port Charlotte in Charlotte County, though the Federal
    Emergency Management Agency declared 25 counties eligible for disaster aid after the worst hurricane to hit
    Florida in a dozen years.

    As a weakened Charley churned up the East Coast and was downgraded Sunday to a tropical depression,
    emergency officials pronounced it the worst hurricane to wallop Florida since Hurricane Andrew tore through in
    1992. Twenty-six deaths were directly linked to Andrew, which caused $19.9 billion in insured property losses.

    State officials said it was impossible to estimate the number of missing people, and downed power lines and debris
    made the task of searching for bodies "tedious and dangerous," said Mike McHargue, director of investigations for
    the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

    In Florida, Charley knocked out power to an estimated 2 million people as it hit southwest Florida as a Category 4
    storm, pummeling the coast with winds reaching 145 mph and a surge of sea water of 13 feet to 15 feet.

    The storm devastated citrus groves, and could have a "huge impact" on this year's crop, said Andy LaVigne, chief
    executive of the trade group Florida Citrus Mutual.

    Charley cut northeast across Florida, hit open ocean again and made landfall again at South Carolina's Grand
    Strand resort region Saturday. The weakened but still-powerful system moved into North Carolina and up the
    eastern seaboard.

    Three hospitals in the county sustained significant damage, Sallade said. Officials at Charlotte Regional Medical
    Center said they were evacuating all patients Saturday, and spokesman Josh Cutter said Sunday that the hospital
    hoped to reopen within three weeks. "This place just isn't safe," said Peggy Greene, chief nursing officer. She said
    windows were blown out, part of the roof was blown off, and there was no power or phone service.

    Charlotte County officials requested help in obtaining necessities. Supermarkets gave away free water in five cities
    from Fort Myers to Wauchula.

    Any generous assistance is needed and will be deeply appreciated. Donations please be made payable to:

    World Hongming Foundation
    P. O. Box 4820
    El Monte, CA 91734-0820
    USA

    Website: http://www.hongming.us/foundation/en.htm
    Email: donation@hongming.us
    Fax: +1-561-431-7612

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