NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – On Monday the American Red Cross is set to release its Year-End Disaster Summary Report for 2011 and don’t expect the news to be good.
The havoc caused by Mother Nature had Anita Foster, with the Dallas Chapter of the American Red Cross, on the road a lot this year.
“There’s no question, it was one of the worst disaster years that I can remember in my 15 years with the Red Cross,” said Foster. “Spring storm season was just so brutal.”
First it was the February ice storm in North Texas, then one spring tornado after another locally and in Alabama and Missouri. There were 1,665 confirmed tornadoes in the United States in 2011.
Then, of course, there were the wildfires.
“The wildfires in Texas they really did go on all year long,” Foster said of the event. “From Possum Kingdom, to Bastrop County, east Texas and even parts of the metroplex right here were affected.”
The recent rains are not expected to lessen the chances of another bad year of wildfires in 2012.
“Our drought is not going anywhere,” said Foster. “It’s been great to see the rain for the last week or so, it’s been wonderful, but it’s not enough and so that’s gonna keep the wildfire threat across our state at a very high level.”
In 2011, wildfires consumed almost four million acres across the state of Texas, and destroyed thousands of acres in New Mexico, Arizona, Florida and Oklahoma.
While the end of the year is near, Foster says more emergency events in the next week or so.
“We typically will respond to about four residential structure fires everyday. We get to the holiday season — the colder temperatures, the candles, the Christmas trees, we can pretty much guarantee that’s going up to eight a day.”
Anyone wanting to help the Red Cross can click here to make a donation or call (214) 678-4800 to make a gift over the phone.