Even as Tropical Storm Irene weakened from hurricane status, it brought major damage to communities all along the eastern seaboard, from South Carolina to Vermont and Maine, claiming the lives of more than 30 people in 10 states, destroying homes and businesses, causing widespread flooding and leaving 5 million people still without power. More than a half million people were without power in Connecticut, the largest outage in the state's history. In the aftermath, some preliminary estimates put storm-related damages in the billions. Authorities are estimating it may take weeks to restore power in some hard hit areas. The threat of more severe flooding is expected to remain high for several days.
AmeriCares has readied an emergency response to help men, women, and children who have felt the impact of the violent storm. Our U.S. team has reached out to our partners in several states to assess potential needs. In the meantime, our stock of targeted medicines and supplies is being readied for delivery to hard hit areas, along with water shipments and other basic supplies. Members of our emergency response team are prepared to deploy if needed.
Irene made landfall in North Carolina as a Category 1 hurricane on Saturday, August 27, battering coastal communities as it pounded its way northward, unleashing torrential rains and damaging winds up to 85 mph. A state of emergency was declared in 9 states as hundreds of thousands evacuated their homes. The entire New York City transit system shut down at noon for the first time in history as a precaution against the storm's wrath. The slow-moving, 500-mile-wide system was downgraded to a tropical storm by the time it made landfall in New Jersey, but its ferocious wind and rain took down trees and power lines, damaged homes and businesses, and caused massive flooding in low-lying areas. The flooding in particular has made it difficult and often impossible for people to return to their homes.
"Even as officials along the East Coast issued urgent warnings about Hurricane Irene, AmeriCares began working to ensure that critical medical supplies and other basic aid will be available in the recovery effort,” said Ella Gudwin, Senior Vice President of Emergency Response at AmeriCares. "We pre-position emergency medicines and supplies so that they can be delivered at a moment's notice.”
For more than 25 years, our U.S. Emergency Response team has delivered critical medicines and supplies to help victims of hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes, wildfires and floods, including a long-term response to Hurricane Katrina as well as the spring 2011 tornadoes.
Support AmeriCares storm relief efforts as we respond to help victims of Tropical Storm Irene.