With the Carolinas experiencing widespread flooding and teams on the ground beginning to conduct damage and needs assessments, the philanthropic response to Hurricane Florence has topped $24 million.
Foundation Center and the Center for Disaster Philanthropy are tracking institutional support for relief and recovery efforts and had identified more than $24 million in pledges and commitments as of Monday evening. The pledges include one from Walmart and Sam's Club to the Charlotte-based Foundation for the Carolinas to match, on a two-to-one basis, customer donations up to $5 million, and a pledge of $1 million from the NFL Foundation in support of organizations working to address the immediate needs of those across the Carolinas affected by the storm.
Days of record-breaking rainfall have pushed rivers, which are still rising in some areas, over their banks, with many not expected to crest for several more days, the New York Times reports. The storm also is responsible for at least twenty-four deaths, including a one-year-old who slipped from his mother's arms after their car became stuck in floodwaters. As of Monday morning, Wilmington, North Carolina, which, according to USA Today, had received more than twenty-three inches of rain, had effectively been cut off, with roads leading to the city completely submerged. Elsewhere, residents of Hoke County, west of Fayetteville, were told to evacuate due to concerns that a dam in the area could fail.
Multiple dams in South Carolina also were at risk of failure, The State reports, with water pouring over the top and around the sides of the Cheraw State Park dam, forcing local authorities to close roads between Cheraw and Society Hill.
"We want citizens to follow state and local warnings," Jeff Byard, associate administrator for response and recovery at the Federal Emergency Management Agency, said on Sunday. "There is a tremendous amount of flooding."
(Photo credit: Reuters)