As flooding continues across Louisiana, more than 500 American Red Cross disaster workers are responding in this state alone, with hundreds more responders active across the Gulf South where devastating flooding has impacted thousands of people. Last night, about 200 people stayed overnight at seven Red Cross and community-run shelters in Louisiana.
“We continue to need the public’s support,” said Kay W. Wilkins, chief executive of the Red Cross in Louisiana. “This is one of the largest disasters to hit our state in recent years. The Red Cross depends on the continued support of the public to help people affected by this disaster – many of whom lost everything – as they work to rebuild their lives.”
RED CROSS RESPONSE As many as 12,000 people have been impacted by the flooding across the state with hundreds of residences either destroyed or receiving major damage. Peggy Allums, Miss Peggy as her neighbors know her, has lived for many years along the shore of Lake Bistineau in north Louisiana. The recent flood that inundated her home is the fourth such event she has endured. Miss Peggy saw the Red Cross Emergency Response Vehicle across the lake inlet on which she lives and sent word that she needed assistance.
The Red Cross team found a detoured route to her home because of inaccessible roads with the help of a neighbor, and provided her with cleaning supplies, personal care items, an ice chest, bottles of water, plastic garbage bags, and snacks.
The floodwaters were not kind to Miss Peggy’s home, and she invited Red Cross volunteer John Simes inside to see the damage. Most of the interior was still wet and musty, and all of Miss Peggy’s possessions remained in piles on every available surface, where she stashed them to avoid the floodwaters.
As she walked through her soaked home accompanied by a blind bulldog, her constant companion, she was amazingly upbeat. “Thank y’all for being here and what you do,” she said.
Red Cross disaster workers are providing supplies in affected communities across the state as it is safe to do so. Trucks and nearly two dozen Emergency Response Vehicles have served more than 34,800 meals and distributed 12,650 relief items including personal care kits and cleaning supplies.
This has been a difficult time for many families. Red Cross disaster mental health workers have been deployed to help people cope in the aftermath of many challenging situations, as Red Cross nurses are caring for the health needs of those affected.
With even more flooding expected as the Red River rises, Red Cross continues to monitor the situation with state and local officials to ensure people get the help they need.
“The Red Cross is working to identify and support the needs of each community based on the stage of their disaster,” Wilkins said. “We will continue to support them in the weeks to come as the water goes down and they begin to plan their next steps.”
The following Red Cross managed or supported shelters were open overnight:
• Bossier Civic Center – 620 Benton Road, Bossier City, La. 71111
• Knights of Columbus Hall – 1601 Horridge St., Vinton, LA 70663
• Saul Adler Community Center – 3900 Westminster Ave., Monroe, La. 71201
• Old Cleco building – 201 Cleco Drive, Pineville, LA, 71360
• Eagle Heights Church – 47318 Rufus Bankston Road, Tickfaw, La. 70466
• Elizabeth Sullivan Memorial United Methodist Church – 510 Avenue B, Bogalusa, La. 70427
A community-run shelter is open:
• Caldwell Parish Community Center – 6539 Highway 165 South, Duty Ferry, La. 71418
HOW TO HELP People can help by donating to Red Cross Disaster Relief to support disasters big and small by visiting redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Donations to Disaster Relief will be used to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small.
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 redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.