Red Cross Says Irene "Spread Us Thin" in Tri-State - NBC New York

Red Cross Says Irene "Spread Us Thin" in Tri-State



    Red Cross Helps NJ Flood Victims

    Thousands in New Jersey are still dealing with the mess left by Irene. (Published Monday, Sept. 12, 2011)

    Two weeks after Tropical Storm Irene drowned parts of northern New Jersey, the Red Cross is urging tri-state residents to consider donating to the relief effort.  

    So far, the Red Cross has handed out about 65,000 meals and provided shelter to 2,500 flood victims.  

    The disaster relief non-profit has also flown in hundreds of out-of-state volunteers.

    Despite the rapid deployment of aid, Red Cross officials admit the magnitude of the storm has strained the charity's resources.

    For example, Red Cross emergency response teams were unable to set up a shelter for flood victims in Wayne, a township well known for its flood-prone pockets.

    "The only reason why there was no direct Red Cross shelter in the area of Wayne was the way Irene impacted the entire state," said Ron Dorrell, emergency services director for the Northern New Jersey Region of the American Red Cross.

    "It did spread us very thin," he said.

    The geographical scope of the cleanup is also making it hard for the Red Cross to house its volunteers.  

    Although most have hotels, between 60 and 100 volunteers have had to set up cots inside the Notre Dame Church in Cladwell.