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Catholic Charities distributes disaster relief to areas hit by Florence

The Carolinas were hard hit with record rainfall and flooding rivers from tropical storm Florence since it made landfall on 14th September. And although the storm was downgraded from a hurricane to a Category 1 tropical storm, it still caused extensive water damage.

At least 24 people died in storm-related incidents, tens of thousands of homes were damaged and about 500,000 homes and businesses were still without power on 17th September.

Prior to the storm, Catholic Charities of South Carolina was preparing to help those in need. Kelly Kaminski, director of disaster services for Catholic Charities, said the agency activated its Emergency Operations Centre and disaster services team on 10th September and had been co-ordinating with county emergency management teams, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and Catholic Charities USA.

It has been working with local partners to have water, cleaning supplies, baby items and other needed supplies readily available in areas along the coast.

Catholic Charities USA has set up its website donation page and text-to-give platform to help individuals and families impacted by Hurricane Florence. As it did in response to last year’s hurricanes, the agency forwards 100 per cent of funds raised to the local Catholic Charities agencies that serve the affected communities.

“We are praying for those affected by the storm,” said Dominican Sr Donna Markham, president and CEO of Catholic Charities USA. “Unfortunately, those most impacted by natural disasters are the individuals and families who are already struggling to make ends meet.

“But thanks to the generosity of our donors, the most vulnerable have their immediate needs met and the long-term recovery support they need to rebuild their lives,” she said.

Picture: Oliver Kelly, aged one, cries as he is carried off a sheriff’s airboat in Leland, N.C., during his rescue from rising floodwaters in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence. (CNS photo/Jonathan Drake, Reuters).