USA (MNN) — Hurricane Florence was downgraded from Category 4 to Category 1 as it made landfall last weekend in the Carolinas. Even so, the storm dumped nearly 36 inches of rain and claimed the lives of at least 32 people.
Marshall Shepherd, a meteorology professor at the University of Georgia, told USA Today, “The concept of saying ‘downgraded’ or ‘weakened’ should be forever banished. With Florence, I felt it was more dangerous after it was lowered to Category 2.”
Storm surges and heavy flooding from hurricanes are formidable foes, even without Category 4 winds. More than 320,000 homes in North Carolina had no power as of Tuesday and tens of thousands of homes are damaged. Property damage from Hurricane Florence is estimated to reach between $17 billion to $22 billion, according to Moody’s Analytics.
As communities across the Carolinas wait for flood waters to recede, ministries like Food for the Hungry are already starting to respond.
Alice Zhang, content strategist with Food for the Hungry, explains, “While Food for the Hungry works primarily internationally to graduate communities from extreme poverty, as an organization we are also called to respond to human suffering, especially when that comes to disaster relief.”
FH is currently raising funds to mobilize a church partner just outside Charlotte, North Carolina for emergency relief.
“They are providing food and emergency supplies to the people there,” says Zhang. “They have also partnered with the local foster system to provide housing through local hotels to foster families right now who have no place to live.
“They are also planning that when roads are reopened, they are going to head over to the coastal areas that are hardest hit and send over a rapid response team as well to help with food, water, and emergency supplies.”
If you would like to donate to FH’s Emergency Relief for Victims of Hurricane Florence fund, click here!
Zhang also encourages, “Continue to keep the Carolinas in your prayers, that God would continue to protect the residents there as well as all the emergency responders who are going out and helping with relocation and some of the flood mitigation techniques. Also, just [pray] for a sense of peace despite the chaos, and that the flooding from the hurricane would subside.”
(Header photo courtesy of The National Guard via Flickr under Creative Commons: https://goo.gl/bvo7mK)