After a night of heavy rains that almost flooded her home, Yamileth Bilbao woke up to find sandbags laid out in front of her mobile home in North Miami.
“I was surprised to see the sandbags,” said Bilbao, who lives in the Highland Village neighborhood. “I soon realized they had been left there by the Red Cross.”
Bilbao and her husband, Marcos, had reached out to the Red Cross for help the night before (Friday, June 7) when heavy rains drenched the area as Tropical Storm Andrea moved east. The Red Cross had stopped by their house to assess the damage to their home and had come back to deliver the sandbags late that same night.
The Bilbaos were among the many residents from Highland Village to whom the Red Cross provided sandbags to keep their homes from flooding.
Emergency services director, Tony Colmenares, said he was contacted Friday evening by Sergeant Jason Ochoa of the North Miami Beach Police Department, who informed him of the heavy flooding in Highland Village.
They realized that the best course of action to help the residents protect their homes was to purchase some sandbags and deliver them to the neighborhood as soon as possible. Despite it being almost midnight by then, they were able to contact the manager at the nearest Home Depot and get him to keep the store open for them.
That is how the Bilbao family woke up to find out that the Red Cross has come by past midnight to deliver more than 100 sandbags in their neighborhood.
“The sandbags saved the day,” said Colmenares, who added that had it not been for the sandbags, many of the residents’ mobile homes would have suffered more severe damage. The sandbags kept the water from entering many of the homes, he said.
As for the Bilbao family, they are grateful for the help they received from the Red Cross and say they will not hesitate to contact them next time they have an emergency.
“They cared about us,” said Yamileth Bilbao. “They treated us with kindness and gave us a business card in case we needed more help.”
Photo caption: The Bilbao family received timely help from the American Red Cross to keep their home from flooding.