“They hope to rebuild.” said an American Red Cross Midwest River Region volunteer about a local family who had to flee their home due to the recent floods. The volunteer went on to say, “The family only has the clothes they are wearing, they were not able to save anything.” The home’s living room was already submerged in over four feet of water by the time the family evacuated because water levels had come up faster and higher than originally expected. Their home is currently unlivable. Their hope to rebuild is shared by the American Red Cross which strives to help rebuild people’s lives in cases of disaster. There are over 65 volunteers who have been working since June 30th to help affected individuals. Since that time, the Red Cross has housed 17 people in overnight shelter stays and served more than 525 meals and snacks.
“The Midwest River Region has been coordinating with emergency officials and local community partners to help residents impacted by the flood get back on their feet,” said Betsy Pratt, Regional Chief Executive Officer. These partnerships have enabled the Midwest River Region to hand out almost 600 relief items in coordination with the Salvation Army and United Methodists Committee on Relief (UMCOR), and assist over 290 people in coordination with Community Action Agency of Eastern Iowa for Clinton County and Project Concern Community Action Agency for the Iowa State Individual Disaster Assistance program.
“At about 10:00 p.m. I heard a large gust of wind then the wall outlets and light fixtures starting sparking and popping and the house started filling with smoke,” said an individual who was forced to run from home with two children after a tree fell on nearby power lines. Another individual reported to have no food and clothing after her basement was flooded with about five feet of water. In the meantime, while the floods continued to hit additional homes, the American Red Cross of the Midwest River Region stood strong in a community that comes together with compassion for one another.
“The Red Cross will keep shelters on stand-by as long as needed, in addition to working with partners and providing mental health support to those affected by the flood,” Pratt said when asked about the length of time the Red Cross will provide assistance. Rebuilding lives is easier in a community that refuses to be broken by disaster.
HOW TO HELP Those who would like to help people affected by disasters like floods, tornadoes and other crises can make a donation to American Red Cross Disaster Relief. People can donate by visiting www.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.