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Sandy likely biggest U.S. relief effort since 2005

WASHINGTON — Widespread destruction from Superstorm Sandy will likely make for the largest U.S. relief effort by the American Red Cross and others since Hurricane Katrina.

By Friday, the Red Cross had raised $117 million in donations and pledges. The Salvation Army raised $5 million.

As the largest private relief organization, the Red Cross saw a boost in fundraising from telethons on NBC and ABC. They raised a combined $40 million.

Still, figures show fundraising has been slower than for Japan’s 2011 earthquake and Haiti’s 2010 quake.

Red Cross Vice President Roger Lowe says those were different disasters. He says donors nationwide have been generous.

But Salvation Army officials say donations have fallen short of needs on the ground and the public may not grasp the extent of damage.