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Louisiana Red Cross sends help to Colorado

Red Cross volunteers respond to disaster
We are eager to support our friends in Colorado and get them the help they need, said Kay W. Wilkins, CEO of the South Louisiana Region.

American Red Cross volunteers from the Southeast Louisiana Chapter are preparing to leave for Colorado to assist with the flood relief effort.

Carolanne Fernandez is departing on Tuesday evening and Thomas Butler is departing on Wednesday morning. Both volunteers are departing from the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport for a multiple-week deployment. They will join a team of volunteers to help provide a safe place for people forced to evacuate, as well as health services and emotional support.

Additional volunteers from across the state are on standby and ready to leave when they are called.

“We are eager to support our friends in Colorado and get them the help they need,” said Kay W. Wilkins, CEO of the South Louisiana Region. “In addition to Carolyn, we are proud of the 20 other volunteers trained and ready to go when called upon. We’ll be there in the weeks to come, too, as we know recovery takes time.”

Heavy rains are causing historic flooding in Larimer, Weld, Boulder, and Jefferson counties with evacuations taking place in Boulder.

The Red Cross is working closely with local emergency management officials, the Colorado National Guard and community organizations to ensure people get the help they need. More than 250 trained Red Cross disaster workers are deployed to Colorado, along with more than 20 emergency response vehicles and six trucks of relief supplies. Working with the Southern Baptist Convention, the Red Cross has served more than 7,100 meals and snacks.

Government officials estimate as many as 18,000 homes are affected by the Colorado flooding. Access to some communities remains difficult due to flood waters and damaged roads. As these areas begin to re-open, the Red Cross will be there to assess the damage, distribute relief supplies and support a recovery effort that will take weeks and months.

Flooding also has caused evacuations in New Mexico and Texas, and Red Cross workers are helping people in those states, providing shelter, meals and comfort for those affected. More than 50 people spent Sunday night in four shelters in New Mexico and Texas. The region continues to be a relief priority for the Red Cross as more rain is expected in the area from tropical storm systems over the next few days.