Department of Ecology News Release - October 12, 2018

State sends conservation corps team to support hurricane response efforts in South Carolina

To train how to safely strip and clean out storm-damaged homes, WCC supervisor conducts field training in Washington so crew members know how to fit-test respirators that protect them from toxic mold.
OLYMPIA  –  Washington Department of Ecology is sending 12 Washington Conservation Corps (WCC) members on a 45-day assignment to South Carolina to assist community relief efforts after Hurricane Florence made landfall on Sept. 14. The team is expected to fly out Friday, Oct. 12.

Recovery efforts have been ongoing since the storm dumped heavy rainfall causing severe flooding and damage. A presidential disaster declaration has authorized federal assistance for eight counties in South Carolina, which could expand in scope.

During their upcoming deployment, WCC members will lead teams to help strip storm-damaged homes down to the studs to keep dangerous mold from growing in walls, ceilings, and floorboards. Members also will help manage volunteers and food donations and support call centers.

An AmeriCorps program, Ecology’s WCC has 300 members and experienced staff statewide who restore critical habitat, build trails and respond to local and national disasters.

Nationwide, 17 programs collectively respond to disaster assignments such as Hurricane Florence when assistance is requested at the federal level. Working together, they form AmeriCorps Disaster Response Teams. Learn more about how WCC deploys to national disaster response assignments.

WCC on the front lines

Ecology’s WCC AmeriCorps members respond to local and national disasters, assisting communities after fires, floods, hurricanes, tornados, oil spills and more. WCC crew supervisors are often tapped to lead and train AmeriCorps members from across the country during deployments.
In addition to providing disaster response services, WCC members plant 1 million trees annually and build or repair more than 400 miles of trail and boardwalk throughout the state while gaining leadership skills.

Contact information

Curt Hart
communication manager
Twitter: ecologywa
Laura Schlabach
outreach coordinator
Twitter: ecologywcc