Catholic agencies respond to victims of Hurricane Dolly

WASHINGTON (CNS) — Food and water were among the primary needs Catholic aid agencies were trying to meet as thousands of households remained without power and some remained under water July 25 in the wake of Hurricane Dolly. Sister Norma Pimentel, executive director of Catholic Social Services in the Brownsville Diocese, said her agency had helped more than 1,000 families who had been forced from their homes during the first 48 hours after the storm hit.

“We are mobilizing the staff and volunteers to help people who don’t have electricity and who have been without power for quite awhile,” Sister Norma, a Missionary Sister of Jesus, told Catholic News Service as she took a short break from coordinating aid efforts. “We’re getting food and water to the people.”

“Parishes are directing their people to us so we can start to do some case management and do long-term recovery,” she said. Dolly lashed the Brownsville Diocese, which encompasses Cameron, Willacy, Hidalgo and Starr counties in southernmost Texas, with 100-mph winds and up to 20 inches of rain. The center of the storm made landfall about 35 miles north of the U.S.-Mexico border. Communities in the northern part of the diocese in Willacy and northern Hidalgo counties bore the brunt of the storm as the eye passed over the region. Although flooding was widespread throughout the region, waters receded in most areas quickly.

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