Over the last few days, Hurricane Irma has battered islands in the Caribbean and much of the Florida peninsula, causing hundreds of thousands of Florida residents to evacuate their homes.
The hurricane also forced the cancellation of a four-team rookie camp tournament, which included the Washington Capitals, Florida Panthers, Tampa Bay Lightning, and Nashville Predators. The tourney was scheduled to take place this past weekend from September 9-12.
In preparation for the tournament, the Caps had shipped 90 cases of water and 40 cases of Gatorade to Estero, Florida, located on the southern Gulf coast of the state. Instead of shipping the materials back to DC, the Caps decided to donate the thousands of bottles to Germain Arena, where the prospects tournament was supposed to be held, so that they can be used by the Floridians who have been sheltering there from the storm.
CSN Mid-Atlantic’s Tarik El-Bashir was the first to report the news.
— NASA SPoRT (@NASA_SPoRT) September 10, 2017
Germain Arena, home to the Florida Everblades of the ECHL and southwest Florida’s largest hurricane shelter, was opened up as a safe haven to those trying to escape the hurricane’s destruction after the cancellations of the prospects tournament.
NPR reports that some 5,000 people took up shelter there over the weekend as deluges of rain and powerful winds pummeled the state. The venue also served as a shelter for around 7,000 people during Hurricane Charlie in 2004.
The thoughful donations by the Capitals will be used to help supplement the three meals a day offered to residents of the shelter.
More than a week ago, Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin and owner Ted Leonsis also made personal donations to Hurricane Harvey victims.
Headline photo of the flooding outside Germain Arena in Estero, Fl. by Meredith Rizzo/NPR.
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