Hurricane Florence Update

Hurricane Florence Disaster Response and Recovery Fund
October 01, 2018


Despite low media coverage, the situation in the Carolinas remains very serious. Florence has now dumped 8 trillion gallons of rain, enough to fill 12 million Olympic swimming pools. The National Weather Service reported Thursday that the overwhelming amount of rain from Hurricane Florence was a “1,000-year” event. However, severe storms such as these are becoming more common, which is why Americares anticipates that recovery needs in the Carolinas will be similar to those of hurricanes Harvey and Sandy, requiring the restoration of health services and long-term mental health and disaster risk reduction programming.

Situational Update:

-Death toll has risen to more than 40 and 49,000 people remain without power.
-South Carolina Governor estimates $1.2 billion in damages, calling Florence the worst disaster in South Carolina’s modern history.
-The Carolinas have experienced major and prolonged record flooding with many rivers still rising.
-Reports indicate that only 135,000 of the 10 million residents in North Carolina have flood insurance, exacerbating recovery efforts going forward.
-In affected areas of North Carolina, FEMA reports that 2 hospitals are closed and 4 are operating with only emergency departments, impacting health services.
-Potential environmental problems due to flooding remain: Officials are warning that human, hog and other animal waste are mixing with floodwaters in the Carolinas. 5,500 hogs are estimated to have perished along with 3-4 million birds due to the flooding.

Response Update:

-Americares has 3 emergency response teams based across Raleigh, Wilmington, and Fayetteville, NC.
-Earlier in the week, Wilmington roads were flooded, cutting the region off from relief. To reach those in need, our team boarded a plane and flew supplies into Wilmington. The following video shows the Americares team in action. Roads are now passable so one of our teams has set up in this hard-hit region to deliver aid and conduct needs assessments.
-At this early phase, Americares is focused on meeting urgent health needs and delivering emergency medicine and supplies. The team has now delivered 25 shipments of health and hygiene supplies to 14 shelters, 2 health clinics and 5 nonprofit partners across the Carolinas, totaling over $170,000 in aid.
-Given the levels of damage, Americares anticipates a need for long-term Mental Health and Psychosocial Support as well Disaster Risk Reduction and Preparedness programming.

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