The American Red Cross is responding to the devastating flooding occurring in multiple states across the South after a deluge of more than 18 inches of rain fell over the last several days. Two volunteers from the Western and Central New York Region have deployed to Louisiana to assist in the relief efforts there.
Sarah Perkins of Pittsford traveled early Friday morning for Louisiana, where she will serve as a Disaster Assessment Manager, leading teams of volunteers that will travel into the affected areas to assess the damage and help determine what type of assistance is needed in what areas. This is Perkins’ 42nd disaster relief deployment as a Red Cross volunteer.
Volunteer Diane Sargent of Lockport will be working with Perkins in Disaster Assessment in Louisiana. Sargent has also served on dozens of relief operations, including the wildfire response in California, tornado relief efforts in Oklahoma and flood relief in South Carolina in the past several months.
More than 450 people spent Thursday night in Red Cross and community shelters in Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi. Red Cross workers are providing shelter, meals, relief supplies and health and mental health services in Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, Texas and Arkansas. The threat of more rain and flooding is expected to continue through the weekend. The Red Cross will continue to monitor the situation with state and local officials to ensure people get the help they need.
“The damage from the ongoing flooding is significant and impacting many communities. Thousands of people have been forced from their homes. We are helping now and will continue to support them as long as we are needed,” said Brad Kieserman, vice president, Disaster Services Operations and Logistics for the Red Cross. “The Red Cross is depending on the public’s generosity to continue supporting families as they recover from this overwhelming situation.”
This flooding comes just weeks after an earlier round of severe weather affected many of the same areas. In Louisiana, the Red Cross was already supporting residents affected by the tornadoes that ripped through the state in late February and workers will continue to provide help to those needing assistance.
HOW TO HELP Those who would like to help people affected by disasters like flooding and countless other crises can make a donation to Red Cross Disaster Relief. People can donate by visiting redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. These donations enable the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small.