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AmeriCares Responding to Needs in Battered Midwest

  • June 20, 2008

In response to needs expressed by state and local authorities and our partners on the ground, AmeriCares continues to address and monitor the needs of people in the Midwest suffering in the aftermath of flooding and tornadoes. To date, we have shipped more than 210,000 bottles of water to aid in flood relief, in addition to the 35,000 bottles of water sent to aid in tornado relief in Iowa.

AmeriCares also continues to stay in contact with our local partners throughout the country to supply any additional aid that may be needed during this unusually active storm season.

Recent thunderstorms have had devastating effects in Indiana, Iowa, Wisconsin and beyond, dropping record rainfall in a brief period of time. The flooding has breeched levees in more than a dozen spots along the Mississippi River, forcing people from homes, hospitals, nursing homes and schools. The flooding has also mixed with pesticides to pollute the water supply, creating an urgent need for clean drinking water.

Parts of Morgan County, in south-central Indiana, received 11 inches of rain in a 16-hour period, or as much rain as the county would typically receive all summer. Approximately 1,230 residents of Morgan County were forced to spend the night in a shelter, and overall 87,000 customers of Indiana’s Duke Energy lost power during the storm.

Similarly, much of Iowa, particularly in the areas near Cedar Rapids, is underwater. Approximately 24,000 people in Cedar Rapids were forced to flee their homes following repeated heavy rains, and cresting rivers remain an issue in Des Moines and Iowa City, among others.

The bottled water is being distributed to victims of the flooding as well as those assisting in the relief efforts and delivered to community centers, schools, shelters and other gathering places for those displaced.

AmeriCares has been working in conjunction with Nestlé Waters, which donated the bottled water. In Indiana, we worked with Hope Crisis Response Network (HCRN). AmeriCares also partnered with HCRN following last year’s level 5 tornado in Greensburg, Kan.

In Iowa, our deliveries have gone to the Northeast Iowa Food Bank in Waterloo, Iowa, in response to the recent flooding as well as a level 5 tornado that struck in late May. (It was the strongest tornado to hit the state in 32 years.) According to the National Weather Service, the United States is on pace for a record number of tornadoes in 2008.

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