As the last remnants of Hurricane Sandy move out of the Northeast the response to the superstorm continues. The U.S. death toll from the storm is up to 85 in 10 different states. Some 5.5 million electrical customers, down from a peak of 8.5 million, are still without electrical power; the storm caused power outages extending from Maine to North Carolina and as far west as Kentucky and Ohio. Hardest hit is New Jersey where 2,500,000 customers are still without power.
The storm was more than 1,000 miles wide at its peak and affected the following states: Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, West Virginia, Ohio, North Carolina, and the District of Columbia. Approximately 13,000 people are reported to in shelters across the impacted states.
Sandy’s most severe impact appears to be in the state of New Jersey and in New York City, where the center of the storm made landfall. While it will be some time yet before damage assessments are complete extensive damage from flood waters occurred across the nation’s largest city in most of its five boroughs. In the Breezy Point section of Queens, more than 100 homes burned when gas from ruptured lines ignited. Firefighters were unable to reach the homes due to floodwaters.
Much of the city continues to remain without power forcing the evacuation of patients from a number of hospitals. Many locales will remain flooded until power is restored and pumps can be activated. Progress is being made as limited bus and subway operations are being restored.
The situation in New Jersey is grim, with much of the state’s coastline now demolished or heavily damaged. In Hoboken, as many as 20,000 of the city’s residents were trapped in apartments without power and flooded streets. Heavy duty National Guard vehicles are now at work bringing relief to the survivors. Shoreline communities all along the New Jersey coast were flooded by the storm surge, the extent of the damage has not yet been assessed.
Elsewhere, in North Carolina Sandy flooded 400 homes. In Ohio there is flooding along the Cuyahoga, Chagrin and Grand Rivers near Cleveland. In West Virginia homes have been destroyed when roofs collapsed due to more than 24 inches of snow falling. Communities in West Virginia are now bracing for the flooding that will result when the snow melts. All across the northeast homes have been destroyed and damaged by fallen trees.
CWS Disaster Response Specialists are working with state, regional and local Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster, known as VOADS, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, our member denominations and other agencies to determine where CWS denominations are helping and are needed. CWS is providing material resources, including blankets, hygiene kits, school kits, baby kits and clean-up buckets to local agencies in four states: New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Total amount of current shipments: $481,577. More shipments are in process.
Details of the shipments with dollar value follow:
The Salvation Army
990 CWS Logo Blankets: $5,791
1,005 CWS Baby Kits: $39,195
1,020 CWS Hygiene Kits $10,200
Community Food Bank of NJ
2,010 CWS Light Blankets: $11,859
105 CWS Baby Kits: $4,095
3,000 CWS School Kits: $45,000
3,000 CWS Hygiene Kits: $30,000
300 CWS Emergency Clean-Up Buckets: $16,800
US Army Reserve
Beaver, West Virginia 25813
1,020 CWS Logo Blankets: $5,967
300 CWS Baby Kits: $11,700
1,020 CWS School Kits: $15,300
1020 CWS Hygiene Kits: $10,200
US Army Reserve
Beaver, West Virginia
144 CWS Emergency Clean-Up Buckets: $ 8,064
Nassau County Office of Emergency Management
774 CWS Emergency Clean-Up Buckets: $43,344
Adventist Community Services
2,010 CWS Logo Blankets: $11,758
2,010 CWS Baby Kits: $78,390
2,010 CWS School Kits: $30,150
2040 CWS Hygiene Kits: $20,400
500 CWS Emergency Clean-Up Buckets: $28,000
Lehigh County Emergency Management
1,020 CWS Logo Blankets: $5,967
1,005 Baby Kits: $39,195
1,020 Hygiene Kits: $10,200
TOTAL VALUE OF ALL CURRENT SHIPMENTS: $481,577
The initial response phase has not yet ended; as the affected areas become safe to enter teams from CWS-member communions will assess the damage, help home owners repair damaged houses and develop plans for future long-term recovery activities to include major home repairs and rebuilds.
CWS also will assist communities in developing Long Term Recovery plans, providing technical and financial support, and providing on site Long Term Recovery training. The lead CWS Emergency Response Specialist for this storm is Joann Hale, firstname.lastname@example.org, (917) 705-3038.
The other CWS Emergency Response Specialists who can be contacted to provide information are:
The Rev Bryan Crousore: email@example.com, (515) 867-0612
Sandra Kennedy-Owes: firstname.lastname@example.org, (251) 725-4262
Kuulei Funn: email@example.com, (808) 226-6432
Total is $618,000. This includes:
- $125,000 for material resources and shipping: ($76,000 for blanket purchase and $24,000 for material resource processing and shipping)
- $300,000 for emergency response long-term recovery group grants (projected 60 grants of $5,000/each)
- $175,000 for long term recovery group training (12 training events at $14,584/per training)
- $18,000 for communications
CONCERNING CLEAN UP BUCKETS: CWS appreciates efforts by supporters to help restock our warehouses with material goods, such as CWS blankets, Clean-Up Buckets, Hygiene Kits, Baby Kits and School Kits. Get more information on various kits that can be compiled and donated to CWS.
How to help:
DONATE NOW: Contributions to support CWS emergency response efforts may be made online or to Church World Service, P.O. Box 968, Elkhart, IN 46515 (REF: HURRICANE SANDY APPEAL, U.S., #627-W).
During disaster such as this now is the time to remember that the most important humanitarian donation that an individual can make is cash. Used clothing and other materials do little to restore the dignity of survivors. Remember, financial help is best. If you do have supplies that may be of help contact a CWS Emergency Response Specialist to see if the materials can be used and where.
ACT Alliance Church World Service is a member of the ACT Alliance, a global coalition of churches and agencies engaged in development, humanitarian assistance and advocacy.