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Midwest Towns Band Together in Face of Floods

Midwest Towns Band Together in Face of Floods
You don’t realize how many people care for you until something like this happens.

Whether they’re beginning to clean up or are still anxiously waiting, residents of the upper Midwest all have the same problem: floods. 

The American Red Cross is out in these communities—in states stretching from Indiana northwest to North Dakota—feeding sandbaggers, giving shelter to those flooded out of their homes, and preparing to distribute relief items when the cleanup begins.

Tony and Alice Roy are bracing for impact as the waters inch closer to their home. Living along the Illinois River in East Peoria, Ill., this family has experienced flooding before, but not of this magnitude.

“This has been the worst compared to 2008 and 2009, and it’s gonna get worse,” said Alice Roy.

The Central Illinois Chapter of the Red Cross set up a shelter in their neighborhood at the River’s Edge Methodist Church to prepare for what’s to come.

“We appreciate it—it was a blessing,” said Roy. “The Red Cross is our family.”

B.J. Watkins, who lives in the same neighborhood, says it is nice to see everyone pulling together in this time of need.

“You got to have a good spirit to live in a place like this,” said Watkins.

In Marseilles, Ill., where residents are in the midst of flood cleanup, Danielle Hanson talked to Red Cross worker Jaclyn Nelson about the floods and the community’s response.

“It’s been amazing,” Hanson said. “You don’t realize how many people actually care for you until something like this happens. A lot of people have come and just given what they have...just the littlest things help so much.

A lot of people don’t have places to stay...people have been opening up their homes to others. Marseilles in a very small town, but just seeing what everyone is doing really makes me feel happy to be here.”

How You Can Help

Those who want to help can make a donation to support American Red Cross Disaster Relief. This gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for and provide shelter, food, emotional support and other assistance in response to disasters. Visit or call 1-800-RED-CROSS. Contributions may also be sent to local American Red Cross chapters or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013.

About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit or, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.