ATLANTA – January 7, 2015 — Red Cross workers continue to help families across Georgia affected by heavy rains and flooding that swamped several counties in late December and caused scattered damage to homes. Over the past two weeks, the Red Cross has helped 153 families begin the recovery process and that number is expected to grow.
Approximately 170 homes are still inaccessible in southeast Georgia and the Red Cross continues to work closely with local emergency management agencies who say it may be several days before damage assessment can begin. Rivers across the state have reached crest levels and water continues to recede with one exception, the Altamaha River.
This week, Red Cross disaster volunteers in Lee County and elsewhere in Georgia helped to assess flood damage to homes and identify families with emergency needs. The distribution of clean-up kits and bleach in affected communities through mobile outreach and at bulk distribution sites continues today. More than 150 Red Cross volunteers from Georgia have helped to provide shelter, food, emergency assistance, clean-up supplies and hope to neighbors in need statewide since December 23rd.
Experts predict that flood threats along rivers in the Midwest and South will continue until the middle of January, especially in communities along the lower Mississippi. “We’re reaching the home stretch here in Georgia, and we’ll be there for as long as we are needed.” said Eric Corliss, Red Cross Disaster Officer for Georgia. “As River flooding concerns move downstream in the Southeast, our volunteers may also be deploying to help people in neighboring states.”
Erica Lane, mother of four, is representative of more than 40 families in Metro Atlanta who found themselves at the center of the flood emergency. Early Christmas morning the family awoke to sounds of their apartment ceiling falling, portions of it hitting her child. “Within the hour, they [Red Cross] were there,” said Lane, who had to gather her children and leave home. “They said here’s a card with money to help you along these next few days. And I was super grateful.” Red Cross disaster assistance helps to meet the immediate emergency needs of displaced families like Lane’s for such things as temporary lodging, food and clothing.
HOW TO HELP
The American Red Cross has been on the ground helping since tornadoes and flooding slammed into states in the south and Midwest over the holidays. Officials report these storms destroyed or caused major damage to more than 2,500 homes. The Red Cross depends on the continued support of the public to help people affected by disasters big and small. People can help by donating to Red Cross Disaster Relief to support disasters by visiting redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.
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 visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.