Salvation Army Rushing Relief to Isolated Upstate New York Communities
Mary Jo Barnello
Oneonta, New York (August 31, 2011)– The rain and wind have stopped, but the storm is not over in Upstate New York. Though Hurricane Irene has passed, the storm damage is still severe and The Salvation Army is currently rushing supplies and care to thousands of individuals who evacuated their homes and businesses due to inland floods in many small towns and villages across the region. Communities throughout eastern New York, including Amsterdam, Fleischmanns, Margaretville, Roxbury and Schenectadyhave been hard hit. Many areas remain disconnected due to the floods that have blocked roads leading in and out of towns in Green and Essex counties. In addition, a long stretch of the New State Thruway remains closed between Albany and Syracuse. The Salvation Army’s Empire State Division has deployed emergency relief teams to shelters in these areas in order to feed, hydrate and provide additional relief to meet all immediate needs of community members and emergency first responders who continue to provide search and rescue services.
“Our greatest problem is access to the damaged areas. New York’s infrastructure throughout the region in shambles and are practically inaccessible,” said Major Ron Lee, Incident Commander for The Salvation Army’s response in the region. “As we mobilize our units, The Salvation Army is providing all necessary relief services to impacted individuals and families, but we know this is only the beginning of a long road ahead. We expect to be here for many weeks or months to come.”
To date, The Salvation Army’s response in the region has included:
· 6 mobile feeding canteens deployed in flood-ravaged areas of Amsterdam, Fleischmanns, Margaretville, Roxbury and Schenectady have served more than 1,600 meals, drinks and snacks.
· Baby formula, food and diapers were sent to Margaretville and Fleischmanns.
· The Salvation Army is continuing to provide feeding support at the Montgomery County shelter in Amsterdam and the Schenectady High School shelter in Schenectady.
· Two semi-truckloads of drinking water donated by Walmart have been sent to hospitals and nursing homes in Delaware County where floodwaters and power outages have contaminated water supplies.
· The Salvation Army is staging 2,000 clean-up kits in Oneonta to assist families whose homes have been damaged.
“This is a major disaster for New York State which will require a major response by The Salvation Army,” said Major Lee. “Right now, The Salvation Army’s is meeting immediate needs while assessing the region’s damage and evaluating how to best meet the growing need in all impacted cities over the long term with the basics like food and water, baby care needs and hygiene kits as well as spiritual and emotional care and support.”
As The Salvation Army continues to respond and deploy vital resources throughout New York, the Army is need to donations to provide relief. Donations can be made online at www.SalvationArmyUSA.org, by calling 1-800-SAL-ARMY or by texting the word “STORM” to 80888 to make a $10 donation through your mobile phone.* For more information on The Salvation Army’s preparation and response to Hurricane Irene, please visit http://blog.salvationarmyusa.org/, www.facebook.com/salvationarmyusaor www.twitter.com/salvationarmyus.
About The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army, an evangelical part of the universal Christian church established in London in 1865, has been supporting those in need in His name without discrimination for more than 130 years in the United States. Nearly 30 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through the broadest array of social services that range from providing food for the hungry, relief for disaster victims, assistance for the disabled, outreach to the elderly and ill, clothing and shelter to the homeless and opportunities for underprivileged children. 82 cents of every dollar The Salvation Army spends is used to support those services in 5,000 communities nationwide. For more information, go to www.salvationarmyusa.org.
* A one‐time donation of $10 will be billed to your mobile phone bill. Messaging & data rates may apply. Donations are collected for The Salvation Army by mobilecause.com. Reply STOP to 80888 to stop. Reply HELP to 80888 for help. For terms, see www.igfn.org/t.