By: Doyle Rader
The historic rains and flooding that North Texas saw in late August affected thousands. As the floodwaters receded, the American Red Cross worked diligently to provide help to people in need as they started the recovery process.
For two days, the Red Cross took part in a multi-agency resource center with other nonprofit groups at the Samuell-Grand Recreation Center in Dallas. Here, organizations connected with flood-impacted residents. The Red Cross was able to provide assistance to almost 240 people seeking help, like Dallas-resident Vincent.
“[The Red Cross] helped me financially,” Vincent said. “I can go buy food now. My refrigerator got caught in [the floodwater] and it just stopped working—a brand new refrigerator. Everything is rotten in it. So, I can go get some food.”
The Red Cross was able to provide Vincent with a debit card for short-term assistance. Each case is different and multiple factors determine how the Red Cross can help, but in this instance, the damage to Vincent’s home warranted financial aid.
Vincent lives with three others in East Dallas. He said that they had at least two feet of water in their home, enough to come up to his knees. He’s still cleaning out the home and removing everything the water destroyed.
People with similar experiences filtered in and out of the Samuell-Grand Recreation Center looking for help. Red Cross volunteer Kathy Hitt, who helped Vincent, was at the resource center both days. She heard some harrowing stories.
“I had a lady that talked about having to swim out of her window because the water was so high, she couldn’t open the door,” Hitt said. “So, she went out a window and had to swim next door to the apartments higher than hers.”
It’s going to take time for Vincent and the countless others affected by the floods to fully recover and regain a sense of normality. Even so, Vincent is grateful that the Red Cross was in his community helping people like him.
“I have nothing but gratitude,” Vincent said. “I’m very thankful because I didn’t know anything about this until I happened to see someone from the Red Cross next door. She came to me, started questioning me and that’s how I got here—through her.”