As the flood waters in Colorado begin to go down in some areas, the American Red Cross is assisting residents with food, shelter, relief supplies and comfort.
THE RED CROSS RESPONSE As many as 400 people spent Wednesday night in 14 shelters in Colorado. Working with community partners, the Red Cross has served more than 13,000 meals and snacks. Red Cross workers have also provided more than 2,640 health and mental health services including emotional support and replacing prescriptions, medications, and eyeglasses.
More than 760 trained Red Cross disaster workers are supporting shelters and relief centers. In addition, the Red Cross has mobilized more than 24 emergency response vehicles and 17 truck loads of relief supplies including personal hygiene items, cleaning supplies, rakes, tarps, shovels, flashlights, gloves, coolers and insect repellant to help people get back on their feet. More than 2,700 items have been given to residents.
Access to some communities remains difficult with damaged roads. As evacuated areas begin to re-open, the Red Cross will be there to assess the damage, distribute clean up supplies and support a recovery effort that will take weeks and months.
RESCUED RESIDENTS FIND SHELTER In Evans, Co., Eldin and Audrey Myer, married 53 years and lifelong residents, lost their home in the floodwaters. Evacuated by boat, they watched their home surrounded by turbulent water filled with trees, barrels, tires and other debris as they traveled to safety.
“We have lost everything including our pets, we just had no time to get anything except Eldin’s cane and my purse,” said Eldin.
Eldin and Audrey found shelter at one of the many Red Cross shelters opened across Colorado. There, blankets, cots, food, comfort and emotional support are available, as well as Red Cross Health Services volunteers who have continued to monitor the medication needs and blood pressure of the couple.
“When I close my eyes, I see water, I hear water,” said Audrey with tears in her eyes. “When you have lost everything, it is so great to come to the Red Cross shelter. There is a nurse, personal items, shampoo and toiletries. We are so grateful.”
FROM ONE DISASTER TO ANOTHER Two years ago during the Tuscaloosa, Ala. tornadoes, Caroline McLowhorn thought she had seen it all. Three of her friends died in the tornado, and she wanted to start a new chapter for her husband Jason Burkart and two daughters Jasmine and Jo-Jo.
Jason traveled to Longmont, Colo. first where he found a beautiful community and plenty of work. Driving cross country last week, his pregnant wife and two kids made the trip to join him. They eventually made it … Just a few short days before the flood.
When their apartment flooded, the family moved into a hotel. After six days and a depleted bank account, they turned to the Red Cross for shelter, food and support. Jasmine, age 12, made fast friends with the other young girls in the shelter, and everyone doted on one year old Jo-Jo.
Late Monday night, the family found free temporary housing for the next two weeks giving them a safe place to stay as they figure out their next steps.
HOW TO HELP If you would like to help, please consider making a donation today by visiting www.redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Contributions may also be sent to your local Red Cross chapter or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013.