Robin Blassberg Staff Writer
On Friday, Sept 14, Hurricane Florence grappled the east coast, primarily the Carolinas, and will likely continue to for a few days.
While initially Category 4, by the time it made landfall Florence had become a Category 5 hurricane, with winds as high as 90 miles per hour devastating the coast near Wilmington, NC. By early morning Saturday, Florence reached South Carolina, with weakened winds. According to the National Hurricane Center, “catastrophic flooding” has left citizens across the region bereft of what once was their homes, neighborhoods, and communities. Forecasters believe the true damage will come when the waters that have risen are left adrift.
Tens of thousands of homes are without power, with an anticipation of 1 to 3 million homes and businesses losing power throughout the storm.
Although over 1.7 million people are under mandatory evacuation orders, as of Saturday, there have been six confirmed deaths: a mother and her infant child after a tree fell on their home, a woman suffering the results of cardiac arrest, a man hooking up a generator, a man checking on his dogs, and a woman driving in South Carolina.
Volunteers are being sent from Connecticut to assist in damage relief across the Carolinas. These volunteers are inclined to help due to the experience they had with Hurricane Sandy in 2012. According to New England Cable News, Laurie Robinson of Milford is “out here paying it forward,” by becoming a volunteer for the Red Cross after she received aid when Hurricane Sandy hit her home. The volunteers, that reach over 17,000 people, stationed in Greenville, NC, are on standby, waiting to deliver needed food, water, comfort kits, and blankets to evacuees.
“Tens of thousands of homes are without power, with an anticipation of 1 to 3 million homes and businesses losing power throughout the storm.”
Not only are volunteers helping human evacuees during this treacherous storm, but they are also helping animals. According to News 8 from New Haven, the Connecticut Humane Society is “on standby to send volunteers to help rescue animals.” Volunteers in East Hartford are accepting displaced animals that have been rescued from flood waters and damaged homes. In fact, there are over 40 dogs in need of homes, and once their temporary shelter is found, their medical tests can be cleared and they can be put up for adoption, but it is a process.
Robinson, who spent years calling a trailer home after Hurricane Sandy, stresses the importance of patience during this time for those impacted by the storm, because the “road to recovery after natural disasters is a long one.”