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Shell Oil, United Way join forces to help Pennsylvania flood victims

By mark gilger jr. (staff writer [email protected])

Published: June 8, 2012

Nearly a year after flooding from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee devastated many communities in Pennsylvania, Shell Oil Co. announced a $200,000 joint initiative with United Way of Pennsylvania.

On Thursday, the company said the money will help with long-term and unmet recovery needs as well as promote emergency preparedness throughout the state.

“Last year’s historic flooding in communities across Pennsylvania left devastating effects that people are still dealing with today,” J.R. Justus, general manager of Shell, said in a press release. “Recovering from situations like this can be difficult, especially if help is unavailable. Shell is pleased to partner with United Way to assist those who are still recovering and could use a helping hand.”

In early September, the back-to-back storms killed 18 people in the state. The Federal Emergency Management Agency said payments to Pennsylvania families, businesses and communities has exceeded $550 million.

The Schuylkill County Long Term Disaster Recovery team has focused its efforts on three of the hardest-hit areas in the county: Klingerstown, Pine Grove and Tremont.

“We want families back in their homes and want their lives to return back to normal,” said Kelly K. Malone, executive director of Schuylkill United Way. “We understand that this funding won’t achieve that goal completely. However, this funding will continue to help the efforts to help those in need at a time when they need it the most.”

The money will be used to rebuild damaged homes, provide for personal needs and to help restore the community by cleaning up the debris and damage.

In addition to one home being completely destroyed, the Schuylkill County Long Term Disaster Recovery Team said there are still 18 families asking for assistance. Many of them are elderly and need help with cleaning debris and waterproofing their basements.

“Successful disaster recovery requires time, resources, commitment and thinking outside the box,” Malone said. “The Shell investment is a big help in ensuring flood-impacted Pennsylvania communities recover and become even more resilient into the future.”

Schuylkill United Way will work with American Red Cross in Schuylkill County and the Schuylkill County Long Term Disaster Recovery Team to determine how to distribute the funds.

“We appreciate the generosity Shell has shown toward Pennsylvanians impacted by flooding disasters, and also thank them for entrusting United Way with the means to help them,” UWP President Tony Ross said.

Shell Oil Company is an affiliate of the Royal Dutch Shell Plc., a global group of energy and petrochemical companies with 93,000 employees in more than 90 countries.

SOURCE

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