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The local Red Cross is making an urgent appeal for contributions to aid victims of Hurricane Floyd along the Eastern Seaboard, including downstate New York.

More than 216,000 people have been sheltered by the Red Cross since the hurricane and tropical storm hit more than a week ago. In New York, 2,362 power outages were reported and 1,606 homes were damaged.

"Although some rivers have begun to recede, flooding continues to affect thousands of families in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Virginia, Maryland and the Carolinas," said Nancy M. Blaschak, executive director of the Red Cross Greater Buffalo Chapter.

The American Red Cross has launched a $25 million fund raising effort, including $2 million to be raised in New York. Nine local volunteers have been deployed to assist in storm-ravaged areas.

Contributions to the Disaster Relief Fund may be sent to the American Red Cross, Greater Buffalo Chapter, 786 Delaware Ave., Buffalo, NY 14209, Attn: Disaster Relief Fund or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington D.C. 20013.

Donors also can call the Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund at 1-800-435-7669 or a Spanish language line at 1-800-257-7575. Internet users can make a secure online credit card contribution at

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