Red Cross Expects Hurricane Irene Response to continue for weeks

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Communities from North Carolina to New England are suffering from significant flooding, wind damage and widespread power outages from Hurricane Irene.

The American Red Cross is responding with shelter, food, comfort and hope for people in need. With operations in more than a dozen states in effect, the Red Cross is urging the American people to donate to Hurricane Irene disaster relief.

"The storm may be over, but our work is far from done," said Sara Peller, CEO of the Cincinnati Region. "We expect this disaster relief operation to be a very large operation that will continue for several weeks."

Saturday night, the Red Cross was operating in more than 500 shelters, providing shelter for more than 27,000 people, and still had 300 shelters open for 8,000 people Sunday night. Since Friday, the Red Cross has provided more than 48,000 overnight shelter stays.

"We're still caring for thousands of people in our shelters, and we're incurring costs every day," said Gail McGovern, CEO of the American Red Cross.

In Irene's wake, thousands of people have turned to the Red Cross for help, and Red Cross workers are responding. The Red Cross has more than 250 feeding vehicles—or more than two-thirds its entire fleet—ready to go into neighborhoods to provide hot meals. Every Red Cross feeding truck east of the Rocky Mountains has been mobilized for this relief effort.

The estimated cost of this relief operation is $15 million. Your support is critical.

The best way for people in the local community to help those affected by Hurricane Irene is to make a donation by visiting, texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation, or sending a check or money order to American National Red Cross Disaster, 3709 Solutions Center, Chicago, IL 60677-3709.

Copyright 2011 FOX19. All Rights Reserved.