Hurricane Florence Robot Rescue Fund

Update October 5, 2018

We have finally heard from our coaches in Pender County, one of the hardest hit areas facing a long recovery from the hurricane.  In the coach's words:

"I have not been allowed back in the building (school) yet.  I understand that there was some building damage but the shop equipment seems to be fine according to our principals.  Right now our school is still a shelter, with most of the Topsail buildings being damaged, so Pender High has had to shelter their families as well.  Over 100 students of our 600+ school are homeless.  Last county Pender County (as a whole) had 658 students without homes.  The road to work on 421 may have had a river rerouted through it permanently.  I don't know how many on our team were affected yet.  The goal is for students to return to school on October 8th if they can fix the mold problem in time.

Our biggest hurdle is going to be finding sponsors since most of them are going to be unable to help this due to the storm.  I am hoping that we will be able to make it this year and we are grateful for your help in getting the word out."

We have raised just over $3000 to help these teams. Continue to keep them in your hearts and thoughts! Your donation can help these teams succeed despite the storm. We know that robotics can provide a positive light for these students and their families!

Update September 27, 2018

Pender County, home to 3 FRC teams, suffered incredible damage from Florence.  We recently learned that 90% of the schools sustained damage and there is no date yet set for when students will return to school.  One of the other challenges they are facing are the personal losses suffered by teachers, staff and families.  The damages to the infrastructure such as roads and sewers will take months to repair.  Our hearts go out to everyone affected!

Pictures of damage....


And of hope....

Update September 25, 2018

Who knew that fish would try to commute somewhere on I40!

This picture is in Pender County on I40, not a place you would expect to see stranded fish.  This illustrates how strange the impact of Hurricane Florence has been on parts of North Carolina.

Latest update on our teams:

FRC 4534 Wired Wizards in Wilmington - Everyone is ok.  Their build space survived and things are good on that front.  They did have to cancel their participation in THOR this coming weekend because there is so much clean-up to do for their homes.

Our teams in Swansboro, Pender County, Robeson County and Scotland County are still out-of-school all this week.  It will take some time before they can regroup.  Our thoughts are with them as they begin the difficult task of cleaning up.

We have raised just over $2000!  THANK YOU!  And a huge thanks to our friends at AndyMark!!  They are selling t-shirts to help our relief efforts and donating 100% of the proceeds to our teams.  You can find the shirts here.  

Update:  September 21

This from FRC 3661 RoboWolves:

Our students are still not back in school, will be out tomorrow and we have not yet heard any word on Monday.  As of today we still have about 53 roads closed in our county due to flooding where the water has washed away portions of the road and people simply cannot leave their homes to get to town.  I have still not heard back from everyone on my team to know that everyone is safe, and I know there are still parts of my county without power.  We are, however, one of the more fortunate counties with some of the lighter damages so I am thankful for that.

And FRC 6729 RobCoBots:  School System again without Central Office - read more here.

FRC 6565 Team Bobcat has reported that they are all ok and their build space is in good share.

FRC 6512 Robonauts will not be returning this year.  Their community has been devastated by the storm and they have lots of rebuilding to do.  Our hearts are with them as they work to get back on their feet.

We will continue to keep you updated on the teams as we hear from them.  We have raised $1300+ thus far to help these teams - thanks!!

Thanks for your help and support!

Yes, you can help!

We deeply appreciate all the emails and phone calls asking about the teams affected by Hurricane Florence.  As far as we can tell, all of the students and their families are safe and well.  However, many are still unable to fully assess any damage the storm has caused.  Until they are allowed back into their communities and buildings, we won't know the full extent of the challenges these teams will now face to rebuild.

The pictures that we have been able to capture show the extent of the flooding.  This shows the storm as it hit Swansboro, home for FRC Team 3336 Zimanators.  The next shows the flooding about 2 miles from the high school where the team meets and builds their robot each season.


No one was prepared for the flooding in Laurinburg, NC in Scotland County, home for FRC 7029 Scotbotics, a rookie last season.  This picture. about a mile from the high school, shows before and after.


There are 10 high school robotics teams impacted by this storm with flooding:

FRC 3336 Zimanators  - Swansboro (Onslow County)
FRC 3661 RoboWolves - Wadesboro (Anson County)
FRC 4534 Wired Wizards - Wilmington (New Hanover County)
FRC 6214 PHEnix - Burgaw (Pender County)
FRC 6512 Robonauts - Bolivia (Brunswick County)
FRC 6565 Team Bobcat - Arapahoe (Pamlico County)
FRC 6729 RobCoBots - Lumberton (Robeson County)
FRC 7029 Scotbotics - Laurinburg (Scotland County)
FRC 7265 Topsail Pirates - Hampstead (Pender County)
FRC 7270 Patriots - Burgaw (Pender County)

Many of you have asked, "How can I help?"

Thank you for asking!  Please consider making a donation to our Hurricane Florence Robot Rescue fund.  100% of all donations received will be to support these teams as they regroup and rebuild.  Once we compile a list of specific tools and items that need to be replaced, we will post a wishlist for each team.

Thank you for your support and generosity!