A local group of disaster response volunteers hauling tractors, tarps, and chainsaws will leave Byron Center, Mich., tomorrow morning, heading to North Carolina to help residents clean up after Hurricane Irene. The group, a Rapid Response Team from CRWRC Disaster Response Services (DRS) will assist some of the many Atlantic Seaboard residents whose homes and businesses were damaged by the storm.
Tomorrow’s volunteers will follow others from the Christian Reformed World Relief Committee (CRWRC) who are already on the East Coast providing initial coordination with local and federal emergency managers and other response organizations in the Hyde County, North Carolina, area. Additional volunteer groups will continue to travel regularly to the coast after Labor Day.
In addition, managers are travelling the coast to the north, initiating collaborations with contacts in Virginia, New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut where storm damage, power outages, and rising flood waters are continuing to come to light this week.
“We anticipate a multi-state response to Hurricane Irene,” says CRWRC-DRS director Bill Adams. “The initial damage from the storm itself hit some coastal communities hard, but the ongoing story is the inland flooding to the north, where power outages, evacuations, closed roads, and rising water are still causing widespread destruction. We’ll find out the extent of the damage from some of these events in the coming days.”
CRWRC is seeking $500,000 to fund Hurricane Irene response in North Carolina and additional locations as needs become known.
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Members of the press wishing to interview volunteers leaving for Swan Quarter, North Carolina at 7:30 a.m. tomorrow, September 1, 2011, from the CRWRC-DRS offices (400 76th Street SW, Suite 17, Bryon Center, Mich.) are welcome to attend. To speak with Rapid Response Team leader Marc Faasse by phone, call 616-460-3725, or call CRWRC-DRS director Bill Adams at 616-560-2782.
For more information about this or other CRWRC programs, call Beth DeGraff, media contact, at 616-648-7821 or 1-800-55-CRWRC.