Rising from the Flood

After Irene and Lee’s one-two punch, hands big and small help Chesapeake Country rise

It’s taking hands big and small to help Chesapeake Country rise from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee’s one-two punch. Lending those helping hands have been neighbors, combined efforts of individuals, local and state agencies, the American Red Cross and big corporate citizens like Dominion Cove Point.
    “Virtually every local organization has helped in some manner or the other,” said Susan Shaw, president of the Board of Commissioners in Calvert County, where more than 100 homes were destroyed.
    Donations in Calvert “have primarily been of time, goods, services and labor,” Shaw said.
    Anne Arundel County — where repairs will rise to $5 million — shared the same kind of universal relief from county departments and neighbors. Citizen response was so great that County Executive John Leopold started a Hurricane Heroes program to, he said, “recognize the contributions made by others who just stepped up and wanted to help in this time of need.”
    Southern Maryland — Calvert, Charles and St. Mary’s counties — also benefited from big cash donations. The Dominion Foundation donated $10,000 to the American Red Cross for Southern Maryland, part of its $210,000 donation to the Red Cross and disaster relief organizations in the three devastated states where they do business.
    “For many families, Hurricane Irene destroyed or severely damaged their homes,” said Virginia M. Board, Dominion Foundation president. “Our community organizations are stepping up to provide assistance, but they, too, need help. As neighbors, we are pitching in.”
    State Farm Insurance also donated $10,000 and North East Foods, $5,000.
    Donations like these allow the Red Cross to spring into action in time of disaster, according to Doug Lent, Regional Communications Officer for the American Red Cross Chesapeake Region.
    During Irene, the Red Cross provided shelters with a warm meal and cot for anyone in need. After the storm, the international relief agency assessed damage and passed out tarps to help protect properties.