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Red Cross Provides Critical Assistance Across Alabama After Tornadoes, Flooding Force Thousands from Homes

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DOTHAN, Ala. (Dec. 29, 2015) The American Red Cross launched a massive relief response across multiple states in the wake of the deadly storms which have been hammering communities across most of the country since before the Christmas holiday. Here in the Elba, residential areas experienced substantial flooding. Many roadways in and out of the city have been closed or deemed impassable creating major difficulties and hazards for residents.

Faced with the potential threat of even more rain this week, the Red Cross and Elba residents are pulling together to help those displaced by flooding. As many as 25 people remain in our shelter at Elba Elementary School after being forced from their homes by Christmas day flooding. Red Cross volunteers and staff responded quickly to assist those in need.

“Red Cross disaster workers have been helping people affected by these storms since before Christmas and will continue to help them as long as needed,” said Alicia Anger, Regional Director of Communications and Marketing, Alabama Red Cross. “We ask everyone to remember these families who have lost everything and had their holiday celebrations tragically interrupted by giving to Red Cross Disaster Relief. We depend on generous financial donations to provide comfort and hope to people in need.”

Several days of tornadoes, flooding and winter storms left behind damaged homes, downed power lines and closed highways. Red Cross and community shelters are open in Texas, Alabama, Georgia, Oregon, Illinois, Missouri, New Mexico and Oklahoma. The Red Cross is also supporting families in Arkansas, Tennessee and Mississippi due to severe weather and flooding. 

Several hundred homes have been damaged in the Elba area. More than 1,100 homes have been damaged by storms across the affected areas and the number could increase. Hundreds of trained Red Cross disaster workers left their loved ones and homes over the holiday and opened shelters for those affected, providing meals, distributing comfort kits and clean-up supplies and meeting with those affected to help them plan their next steps.

DANGER NOT OVER The storm is expected to continue to affect people over the next several days with flash flooding, heavy snow, ice and freezing rain. The Red Cross urges people in the path of these storms to get ready now. Information about what people should do to prepare their household for possible flooding, tornadoes, winter storms and other weather emergencies is available at redcross.org.

PLEASE HELP NOW The Red Cross will be helping people affected by this storm for weeks and months to come, while at the same time responding to other emergencies, including helping people whose homes are destroyed by fires. The Red Cross responds to nearly 70,000 disasters each year in the United States – the vast majority of which are home fires.

People can help by donating to Red Cross Disaster Relief to support disasters big and small 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 nearly half of the nation's blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization — not a government agency — and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit www.redcross.org or join our blog at http://blog.redcross.org.