Last fall, Hurricane Matthew’s high winds and torrential
rains battered the U.S. from Florida to Virginia. After the
hurricane passed, swollen rivers across the Carolinas
caused devastating flooding that inundated homes and
communities for over a week.
The slow-moving storm caused widespread damage to
property and infrastructure, while flooding displaced
thousands of people from their homes. Many affected
families had no place to go, or had fled homes with little
more than the clothes on their backs. In response,
thousands of American Red Cross disaster workers from
across the country mobilized alongside local volunteers
and employees—many of whom were also affected by the
massive hurricane—to bring swift relief.
Thanks to our generous donors, the Red Cross provided
shelter from the storm, food and water, relief supplies,
basic health services and sorely needed emotional
support for people facing devastating losses. And as
hard-hit families began returning to their flooded-out
homes to clean up and salvage their belongings, Red
Cross response vehicles traveled through the impacted
areas with meals, water and essential cleanup supplies.
In flood-ravaged Lumberton, N.C., John Blackburn and
his mother saw their home completely destroyed by
the surge of water that followed Hurricane Matthew.
The floodwaters sat more than three feet high during
the height of the storm and lingered for several days.
Despite the loss, John’s spirits were high. “The Red Cross
volunteers are angels,” he said. “They have helped me
Matthew is estimated to be the costliest hurricane to
strike the U.S. since Hurricane Sandy in 2012—causing
billions of dollars in damage to homes and businesses.
After emergency relief operations ended, the Red Cross,
with our strong local presence in affected communities,
worked with hurricane survivors to plan their recovery,
identify unmet needs and locate available resources to
get back on their feet.