CWS situation report: Spring storms 2011 - updated April 21, 2011

Regions throughout the continental United States continue to be buffeted by a series of storms, tornadoes, floods and wildfires that have resulted in loss of life and severe damage to homes and property in the affected states. Over the past week, more than 400 straight line winds and tornadoes have hit communities across the south and Midwest. Federal, state and local officials still are assessing the full extent of the damage.

Situation:

Regions throughout the continental United States continue to be buffeted by a series of storms, tornadoes, floods and wildfires that have resulted in loss of life and severe damage to homes and property in the affected states.  Over the past week, more than 400 straight line winds and tornadoes have hit communities across the south and Midwest.  Federal, state and local officials still are assessing the full extent of the damage.

Especially hard hit were Alabama and North Carolina.  Alabama suffered destruction of homes and two churches in the Tuscaloosa area and major damage in other communities.  North Carolina, where a federal disaster has been declared, suffered 24 deaths and more than 1,650 destroyed or badly damaged homes in Bertie and Cumberland Counties. 

Other affected states include Georgia, Virginia, Wisconsin, South Dakota, Illinois, Missouri, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky and Arkansas, where homes were either destroyed or damaged in the storms.

Flooding is taking a toll in several states. 

The overflowing Red River is threatening communities in Minnesota, and in North Dakota between Grand Forks and Fargo, where farms have flooded and farmers are unable to feed or care for livestock.  North Dakota communities also are in danger of flooding from the Sheyenne River, where a temporary levee is holding for now, and from Devil's Lake, which has risen three feet this Spring.

In New York, streams and rivers in the Erie region are at capacity and threatening to overflow.  Virginia also has experienced flooding. 

The Mississippi River, now approaching record high levels, has caused some flooding in Davenport.

In the southwest, serious wildfires continue in Texas and New Mexico

CWS response:

CWS Disaster Response Specialists are working with state, regional and local VOADs (Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster), FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency), our member denominations and other agencies to determine where CWS denominations are helping or are needed.  CWS will provide material resources, including  blankets, hygiene kits and clean-up buckets, as requested.  CWS also will assist communities in developing Long Term Recovery plans, as requested.

HOW TO HELP: Contributions to support CWS emergency response efforts may be made online, sent to your denomination, or to Church World Service, P.O. Box 968, Elkhart, IN 46515.

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.

Media Contact:
Lesley Crosson, 212-870-2676, lcrosson@churchworldservice.org
Jan Dragin, 781-925-1526, jdragin@gis.net


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