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    Hit by Ike, Wal-Mart Is Bolstering Relief Efforts

    The hurricane hit its U.S. stores in 10 states, but the chain has been reopening units at a rapid rate.

    When Hurricane Ike made landfall last week and then moved across the central United States, 240 Wal-Mart facilities stood closed, damaged, or without power. As of Tuesday, over 217 of these facilities had reopened, the retailer reported.

    Wal-Mart said most damage had been limited to roofs, leaks, or broken skylights.

    On Tuesday, the Bentonville, Ark.-based retail giant said it had made a $2.5 million commitment of cash and merchandise donations to assist those affected by Hurricanes Ike and Gustav before it.

    Wal-Mart said it is continuing product donations such as water, food and hygiene products and donating cash to the American Red Cross, The Salvation Army, and Feeding America. The donation will also support the Texas Disaster Relief Fund, and Baton Rouge Area Foundation's efforts in Louisiana and Texas.

    Wal-Mart said it is assisting its associates affected by the storms through the Wal-Mart Foundation. To date, more than $2 million in grants have been allocated to associates who have sustained significant damage to their homes, it said.

    The retailer also committed three tractor-trailers and drivers to assist the state of Texas in delivering relief supplies. The company's health and wellness division is assisting with the prescription needs of evacuees at 16 shelters.

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