Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Hurricane - #3208 - Irene Relief Work Faces Logistical Challenges - Baptist Press

Ironically, on Aug. 29 -- the sixth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina -- Hurricane Irene has almost ended her 1,500-mile path of destruction from North Carolina to eastern Canada. By all accounts, Irene could have been much worse. But that's little consolation for the estimated 65 million people impacted on the East Coast -- some of whom lost loved ones while many others are facing flood damage from the Category 1 hurricane that reached 600 miles in width. According to news accounts, Hurricane Irene resulted in 25 deaths, some 2.4 million Americans being evacuated from their homes and 4.5 million without electricity. Irene's damage estimates range from a low of $7 billion to $20 billion. Katrina, by comparison, inflicted damages of $105.8 billion in Mississippi and Louisiana alone, according to the National Hurricane Center. "While Irene was not a wind event, it was still a rain event which is producing extreme flooding," said Mickey Caison, national coordinator for Southern Baptist Disaster Relief (SBDR) with the North American Mission Board in Alpharetta, Ga.........

"Assessment has to be done. We have to determine where we can house volunteers. Because so much of the damage is in the New England/New York area, we don't have a lot of churches there, so we have to build the infrastructure to logistically support our teams."  North Carolina and its Outer Banks caught much of Irene's fury as a Category 3 hurricane. In the Tar Heel State alone, 1.3 million people were affected and 300,000 people remain without power. Officials estimated that North Carolina suffered $600 million in damages in 14 counties, including 137 washed-out roads and 19 destroyed or damaged bridges. Bunyan, N.C., recorded 14 inches of rain, while Cedar Island, N.C., endured 115 mph winds.  Three SBDR feeding and mud-out units from Mississippi already are en route to North Carolina, said Galen Moss, a DR coordinator for the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina.  Read more........  AW: To Donate to help, Southern Baptist Relief efforts...........

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