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AmeriCares Prepares New Emergency Aid for Storm-Stricken South

  • April 28, 2011

Disaster Relief Underway for Tornado-Ravaged Communities; Emergency Medical Assistance Shipped to NC; Water Delivered to Aid TX Wildfire Crews

Dozens of tornadoes and powerful storms ripped through six Southern states April 26-27, killing at least 200 and leaving a path of widespread destruction. AmeriCares is working with the National Conference of Community Health Centers to assess needs and mobilize a response for communities affected by the deadliest series of twisters in more than 40 years.

Alabama has been hardest-hit, with 131 deaths, including 32 in the city of Tuscaloosa alone where a mile-wide tornado devastated the city, wiping out entire neighborhoods. Massive damage has been reported,  the federal government has declared a state of emergency, and the National Guard has been deployed to the state. The Associated Press reports that some 300,000 people are without power while the area braces for yet another round of tornadoes predicted from Georgia to Maryland.

An AmeriCares emergency response expert is on the ground in Sanford, North Carolina managing distribution of a relief shipment and assessing additional needs across the storm-ravaged South.  The delivery to the Helping Hands clinic includes water, medicine and supplies for health workers to extend care for patients with diabetes and other chronic diseases.  The clinic is working alongside the Red Cross and Salvation Army to serve the community of more than 20,000 still reeling from an earlier wave of damaging storms. More than 241 tornadoes tore across 14 southern states April 14-16, claiming 46 lives.  North Carolina was one of the worst-hit areas, with 22 fatalities and massive damage reported.  

The storms were particularly destructive in trailer parks; census data estimates more than 10 percent of residences in North Carolina are mobile homes. In addition, officials in North Carolina reported 130 serious injuries, 65 homes destroyed and 600 severely damaged.   

In Texas,  AmeriCares delivered truckloads of water to Feeding America food banks in Lubbock, Wichita Falls and Odessa to support firefighters and crews involved in wildfire response and recovery efforts.   More than 8,000 wildfires of unprecedented intensity have raged across Texas, claiming two lives and destroying hundreds of homes.  

AmeriCares responds immediately to disasters: hurricanes in the Gulf, tornadoes in Kansas, floods in Washington state, Iowa, Indiana and Mississippi, wildfires in California, as well as deadly ice storms in Kentucky, Missouri and Arkansas.  Wherever disaster strikes in the U.S. and around the world, we are ready to help save lives and restore health.

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