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Texarkana Volunteers Deploy to Help Victims of Austin Flooding

TEXARKANA, TX, NOVEMBER 7, 2013… Rick Meredith and Sondra Watts of the American Red Cross Texarkana Area Chapter are among a group of 27 trained volunteer that deployed from North Texas to help people recovering from the Halloween flooding in Central Texas.

Last Wednesday night and Thursday morning, intense rain events caused flash flooding throughout Central Texas, crippling parts of Travis, Hays and Blanco counties. A variety of neighborhoods, including Onion Creek and the Dove Springs area of Austin, experienced flooding up to and beyond the 100-year flood plain. Hundreds of homes were damaged and dozens destroyed.

Working from the Red Cross Emergency Operations Center in Austin, Meredith and Watts will deliver hot meals and snacks to the affected neighborhoods, along with other much-needed relief supplies and materials to help families begin the clean up and recovery process.

“When disasters happen, it’s the Red Cross that responds first by having volunteers ready to go at a moment’s notice” said John Davis, Executive Director, American Red Cross Texarkana Area Chapter. “Times like this are the reason trained volunteers are so important to the Red Cross. Knowing what to do in a situation that might be totally unexpected is what we prepare our volunteers for so they can act quickly and help out wherever needed.”

So far in response to the Central Texas flooding, the Red Cross has served nearly 17,500 meals and snacks, handed out nearly 1,500 clean-up kits and deployed nearly 20 emergency response vehicles. In addition, our workers are providing health services and emotional support to those coping with the devastation.

Davis says that there are ways for people in the Texarkana area to support Red Cross during this and other disasters, even if one is not able to deploy out of Northeast Texas.

“Here in the Texarkana area, you can help in a couple important ways. I encourage anyone with a desire to help to sign up and begin training as a local disaster volunteer. Additionally, you can help deliver immediate relief in the wake of such disasters by making a donation to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund,” said Davis. “Your gift enables the Red Cross to provide shelter, food, clothing, toiletries, health services and emotional support to those who need help during these unpredictable disasters.”

To begin your training as a volunteer, you can fill out your online application at To donate, you can drop your gift by the office at 821 Spruce, Texarkana, TX 75501, give online at or text 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 or join our blog at