Family with Forks ties facing monster Australian storm

Former Forks residents Jeremy and Cameron Botkin, and their four young children, are facing the brunt of Cyclone Yasi.

The storm is being called a “monster” force-five cyclone, the Southern Hemisphere-Western Pacific term for a hurricane-force storm.

Former Forks Calvary Chapel Pastor Jeremy Botkin barbecues in Townsville, Northern Queensland, Australia wearing a Forks High School Spartan T-shirt in this recent photo.

Jeremy Botkin sent an email to friends in Forks on Monday. He wrote:

“Just a quick note regarding the Cyclone that’s predicted to hit Northeastern Australia, in a couple of days…We’re fine at the moment and are somewhat confident in the reports that it will hit land up in the region of Cairns about 300+ miles away. It is a pretty massive storm though and unpredictable by nature so doubtless we will experience some of its impact in Townsville but with the refuge of the YWAM base being so near and their disaster preparedness program firmly established and ready to go, we feel like the best thing to do is stay put and wait out the storm. We would certainly appreciate your prayers for us and for those in the whole region as it looks like many lives are at risk as well as homes, properties, and livelihoods.”

The couple keeps in close touch with Ron and Lois Robbins of Forks, her parent. They are serving in Northern Queensland  with the global Protestant missionary organization Youth With A Mission. 

Jeremy Botkin was the first pastor of Forks Calvary Chapel, moving to Forks in 2002. His wife Cameron served as a girls volleyball coach at Forks High School.

The Townsville Bulletin, a local paper, is reporting on Tuesday afternoon Forks time, through its Web site, that about 5,000 homes in  Townsville have been evacuated with the Australian Army coordinating the effort. Australian weather officials expect the storm to hit hardest about 300 miles north of  Townsville, near Cairns, but haven’t ruled out the storm taking a more southern track.

At press time Cyclone Yasi was expected to cross the north Queensland coast at about dawn Forks time on Wednesday, Feb. 2, with a high tide hitting at the same time.  

Follow the Townsville news here

The Botkin family blog is here

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