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Red Cross Volunteers Step In To Help Victims Of Apartment Flooding

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"It was a nice shoulder to cry on" - Leslie White, disaster victim

The American Red Cross assisted several Clive residents after their apartments were destroyed from flood waters in the early hours of June 25.

Twice in the morning but hours apart from each other, residents from a local apartment complex were forced to evacuate their building as rising flood waters threatened their homes. Josey Ellis, 23, was one of the residents who reached out to the Red Cross.

“The water came up to the doors, started to come in and then kind of started to recede and go back out,” Ellis said. “The neighbors upstairs let us put stuff in their apartments, and we moved stuff out to our vehicles.”

After several hours of moving items away from the lower-level apartments, the authorities told the residents they could go back in because the water was receding.

Ellis had gone back to bed only to be awoken roughly four hours later by a neighbor shouting at her to evacuate her apartment yet again.

“When I put my feet on the floor getting out of bed, there was water above my ankles,” she said. “I tried to run out my front door, but the current was too strong, so I couldn’t get my door open.”

She forced her way out through the window, despite the strong current, and stayed close to the building until she arrived at the front door of the complex. As the waters continued to rise, the fire department was forced to rescue the remaining residents by boat and take them to a higher location.

Another resident, Leslie White, 53, received a call from her landlord later that morning about the second evacuation due to the rising waters. She and her daughters had gone to a friend’s house to sleep after the first ordeal.

“Basically everything’s lost, like all the wood furniture—everything,” White said.

The same day, many Red Cross volunteers were hard at work aiding those whose apartments were destroyed by the flooding.

“They helped by giving me financial assistance and telling me I should get renters insurance,” White said. “I didn’t know that they would do that.”

White said with the financial assistance, she used the money to help with the deposit for her new apartment. Aside from the material items, she expressed the emotional support the Red Cross volunteers provided as well. It was “a nice shoulder to cry on,” she said.

The Red Cross also provided Ellis with money vouchers, which she is using to buy groceries and shower supplies while they continue to look for a new place to live. Everything she experienced with the Red Cross was a helpful experience during such a devastating time, she said.

“It was a positive experience, and if somebody else was going through that, I would recommend them going and talking to the Red Cross,” Ellis said.