Residents of Florida and the many small islands in the Caribbean are no strangers to massive storms, but last week's category five hurricane, Irma, was the strongest Atlantic storm to make landfall in a decade. The winds reached over 180 miles per hour.
A state of emergency was declared for Florida and state officials issued advisories urging people to evacuate ahead of the impending disaster. The National Weather Service reiterated the warnings and said that there was even the possibility that South Florida "may be inhabitable for weeks or months."
As terrifying as it may sounds, they were not exaggerating the severity of the hurricane.
Prior to making landfall in the sunshine state, Irma destroyed a few islands in the northeast Caribbean including Antigua and Barbuda and the U.S. Virgin Islands, where country singer Kenny Chesney owns a home.
The star, who is currently on tour, wasn't on the island when the hurricane hit, but his abode in St. John was completely destroyed. He took to social media to share some devastating photos of the aftermath, accompanied by a heartfelt message including a vow to help those affected rebuild their lives.
The country singer also expressed his heartbreak over the aftermath of Hurricane Irma to HLN's Morning Express with Robin Meade.
He described the events as "biblical in nature," and explained that while his property was destroyed, it's the "place and the people that mean so much more to me than my house."
The Don't Blink singer tweeted images of the destruction the island suffered and a letter to his fans.
"As daylight is hitting the islands, and we're really getting a sense of how bad this all is…I don't know what to say," wrote Chesney in the statement. "I've never been in war, but the devastation, the people's faces in a place I know by heart have left me feeling helpless. It's total devastation."
"These are people who live off the sea, who depend on it. They live right there, and it's gone. Most everyone's displaced. They are frightened, confused, and they don't know where help is going to come from. Those lives have changed and will never be the same. Those small islands are hard to get to and they rely on each other to get through what life hands them. For all of them, though, they've been where I've leaned for emotional and creative support for fifteen years because they are so generous," he continued.
Chesney admitted that while he doesn't know where to begin, he knew he wants to help.
"I want to enlist my friends to figure out the best ways to make a difference, to help in whatever ways, small or larger, that we can," he wrote. "I'm blessed with so many great people… We're already talking, trying to figure out how to get in there."
"Give us a few days to figure this out. Pray/send good thoughts to everyone who's been affected or is in the path of Hurricane Irma," the artist continued. "This is unlike anything they've ever seen from St Maartens to St Barths to Puerto Rico then the Caribbean and onto Key West."
"Be safe. Tell someone how much you care. Remember to Spread the Love," Chesney concluded.
As promised, it was only a matter of days before Chesney announced the launch of his new relief foundation called Love for Love City.
“I’m gonna do everything that I possibly can to try to relieve some stress from people that I’ve really grown to love over the years, who have meant so much to my life. This place, these islands, have meant so much to me,” Chesney told People.
You can visit Chesney's official website to read the full statement and learn about the charity or make a donation.