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WILMINGTON, NC: September 23, 2018. UPDATE: The American Red Cross says it received US$4 million from Walmart/Sam's Club and its customers in just four days following the launch of a donation website by the company that matched every US$1 donated with US$2.

The money has enabled the Red Cross to send over 3,600 aid workers to help shelter, feed and comfort people in large portions of South and North Carolina. As rivers continue to rise and crest, many more people are expected to need help for an extended time. 

Following landfall by Hurricane Florence, over 20,000 people sought refuge in 150 Red Cross shelters across North and South Carolina.

The North Carolina Department of Public Safety reported power outages affecting over 420,000 homes, over 2,600 rescues of humans and animals, and declared 18 counties in the eastern part of the state as disaster zones.

Red Cross North CarolinaThe UPS Foundation responded with a donation of US$1 million to support recovery efforts ranging from rebuilding to personal and financial recovery assistance.

Help includes providing humanitarian logistics expertise to the Red Cross and FEMA to deliver needed supplies and coordinate support with multiple partner agencies.

“Over the long-term, additional assistance will be required to help transform affected communities into resilient neighbourhoods,” said UPS Foundation president Eduardo Martinez.

UPS is also working with the CDC Foundation, Good360, NVOAD, Operation Hope, SBP (Saint Bernard Project), The Salvation Army, ToolBank Disaster Services and United Way.

The Norfolk Southern Foundation says it has donated US$100,000 to assist recovery efforts with $50,000 to the Red Cross and $50,000 to the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina.

“Many of our Norfolk Southern employees, facilities, and customers are located in these affected areas, and Red Cross and food bank recovery efforts are timely and vital,” said James Squires, NS chairman, president and CEO. “We want our employees, customers, and community neighbors to know that Norfolk Southern is there to help where it’s needed most.” NS employs 1,245 rail staff and operates over 1,187 miles of track in the state.

Within three days of the hurricane's landfall, the North Carolina Department of Transportation asked the U.S. Department of Transportation Maritime Administration to make the 32,000-tonne RoRo vessel Cape Ray, part of  its Ready Reserve Force, available to transport supplies to relieve the coastal city of Wilmington NC that was completely cut off by floodwater.

The ship sailed from Jacksonville, FL to Morehead City, NC where it was expected to load trucks carrying food, fuel and construction material for distribution to Wilmington and the surrounding area, said NC secretary of Transportation Jim Trogdon.

For the latest news on project cargo and breakbulk operations in the Americas – including information on the humanitarian logistics response to Hurricane Florence – the annual Breakbulk Americas conference and exhibition takes place October 2-4 in Houston. Click for more details: Breakbulk Americas

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