Back-to-Back Storms Wreak Havoc on Eastern United States in 2011
Within days of each other, Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee made landfall in the continental United States, wreaking havoc with torrential rainstorms and wind damage that caused disruptions to ACF program delivery in several communities.
Hurricane Irene first made landfall on Aug. 22, 2011, as a category 1 hurricane in Puerto Rico where severe flooding resulted in significant property damage and loss of lives.
Five days later, Hurricane Irene made a second landfall over the outer banks of North Carolina on Aug. 27 with sustaining winds remaining at category 1 level.
The storm disrupted human services infrastructure and program service delivery, and gave rise to new human services needs among those directly affected throughout the eastern seaboard. In Northeastern states, the flooding caused by Irene was exacerbated by the remnants of Tropical Storm Lee just a few days later.
On Sept. 1, 2011, Tropical Storm Lee made landfall in Louisiana. Although it was only a tropical storm, the huge size of the disturbance also affected Mississippi, Alabama and Florida. The slow-moving storm caused major flood damage and spawned 30 tornadoes during its trek toward the northeast. Remnants of Lee reached as north as Pennsylvania and New York.
OHSEPR led ACF’s response and recovery efforts to restore service delivery and address disaster-caused needs. The ACF Regional Emergency Management Specialists and other Regional Office staff deployed to emergency operations centers across the East Coast to lead the response effort.
Pre and post disaster situation reports, as well as critical human services information from the regions, were provided to OHSEPR, which was then able to plan, coordinate and communicate with federal, state, non-governmental partners and ACF leadership.
As a result of the flooding and significant property damage in Pennsylvania, New York, Vermont and Massachusetts, OHSEPR was called upon to administer and implement the Federal Disaster Case Management program.
In partnership with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and ACF’s national partner Catholic Charities USA, ACF deployed eight REMS, scores of CCUSA personnel, and more than 100 U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps Officers to provide disaster case management services to clients with disaster-caused unmet needs.
Team members traveled to the affected states, where they served as points of contact to connect disaster survivors to resources and services to address their unmet needs.