As the East Coast cleans up after Irene, and tropical storm Katia is gaining momentum to possibly become a hurricane, Bank of America has plans to help fund relief for the 2011 hurricane season.
The nation's largest bank in terms of deposits, BofA announced on Monday that it is making a donation of $250,000 in support of the American Red Cross Disaster Fund for the 2011 hurricane season. Currently funds from the donation are aiding those who have been affected by hurricane Irene, which has caused damage from North Carolina to New England.
"Our hearts go out to everyone affected by this hurricane and the resulting floods that have caused significant damage along the East Coast," said Kerry Sullivan, president, Bank of America Charitable Foundation. "We are pleased to assist the American Red Cross as they help families transition through this difficult time."
Hurricane Irene struck the U.S. on Friday after barreling through the Caribbean, first hitting North Carolina, then the New York tri-state area on Saturday and Sunday and finally ravishing New England on Monday. The cost of damage has been estimated at a few hundred thousand to several billion dollars across the different regions.
The 2011 hurricane season is expected to be especially active. The National Hurricane Center projects that the season, which spans from June 1 to November 31 will see 14-19 named storms, 7-10 hurricanes and 3-5 major hurricanes.
Tropical storm Katia is the next storm expected to become a hurricane. Currently, Katia is churning in the Atlantic Ocean, 630 miles west southwest of the Cape Verde Islands in Africa and is moving west at 18 mph (30 kph). The NHC expects Katia to become a hurricane by Wednesday or early Thursday and a category 3 hurricane by Sunday.
The NHC has not yet determined whether the storm will affect the U.S. but says there is a strong possibility it will bare down on the Caribbean.
"It's still well out to sea. A lot of things can happen . . . We don't show it affecting any land areas for five days. Beyond that is merely speculation," Richard Pasch, NHC senior hurricane specialist told Reuters