DLA Distribution Albany assists in humanitarian relief to Hurricane Joaquin ravaged South Carolina

By Brianne M. Bender DLA Distribution Public Affairs

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South Carolina is gradually moving into recovery mode following widespread flooding from an early October storm that dumped as much as 26 inches of rain across the state's midland and coastal areas.

In support of the Army’s Logistics Readiness Center, Defense Logistics Agency Distribution Albany, Ga., stepped up to provide support to the state of South Carolina, and its residents.

“Our team here at Albany, has worked tirelessly to get shipments out same day received for urgent requirements, “ said DLA Distribution Albany, Ga., director Rita Varner.

The team received their first order for over 5,000 Meals Ready to Eat on Monday, Oct. 5. Subsequent orders were received through Monday, Oct. 11 totaling more than 38,000 cases of MRE’s or 22 truckloads shipped to Fort Jackson, S.C.

Only indirectly related to Hurricane Joaquin, located well off the coast at the time, the historic flooding rain was characterized by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration as a 1,000-year storm event. This means that in any given year there is a 1 in 1,000 chance of encountering rainfall totals of this scale. Even before the rains subsided, overflowing waterways quickly overwhelmed communities across the state, washing out roads and bridges and compromising nearly 30 dams, most of which are small, earthen structures.

According to experts, it was the combination of several weather patterns that came together in just the right way to produce the rainstorm the size of which has never before been experienced in this part of the Southern United States. Meteorologists say a strengthening non-tropical storm in the south, a strong area of high pressure in Canada and converging tropical moisture from Hurricane Joaquin all joined forces to create the extraordinary rains.

“Our team is consistently called upon to assist in humanitarian and natural disaster relief,” explained DLA Distribution Albany, Ga., deputy director Tony Brooks. “There are many things we do well, but contingency support is our greatest strength as a Distribution Center.”