The U.S. hurricane relief effort for the Dominican Republic gained momentum Sunday, with tons of food, water and supplies being brought in to help thousands of struggling storm victims.

The United States shipped about $500,000 worth of supplies, including enough plastic sheeting to provide makeshift roofs for 15,000 homes damaged by Hurricane Georges last week.More aid was coming, said Hugh Parmer, head of disaster relief for the U.S. Agency for International Development.

At least six U.S. military helicopters were due Monday to carry relief supplies and help rescuers reach towns cut off by flooding, downed bridges and debris-choked roads, Parmer said.

Chopper crews planned to fly rescuers to San Juan de Maguana, 120 miles west of the capital, where 76 bodies were recovered on Thursday. Half the town, Parmer said, was under water or buried in mud.

Across the Caribbean, Georges killed more than 300 people, including at least 87 in Haiti, five in Cuba, three in St. Kitts and two in Antigua. At least three were killed in Puerto Rico, where damage surpassed $2 billion.

In Cuba, President Fidel Castro said the speedy evacuation of hundreds of thousands of people probably saved lives during Georges' march across the island Thursday and Friday.