On a cresting a hill rolling into to Browning, Ill., American Red Cross workers met Pat Briney, rural letter carrier for the United States Postal Service. Browning is a small village of about 100 residents nestled into a valley along the Illinois River. Briney has been putting letters into mailboxes in the small community for more than a decade. She was happy to see the Red Cross, but teary-eyed for the people of the small town, especially the large population of senior citizens.
Briney described how Browning residents were virtually cut off because of the road closing. She said the residents would need to drive many, many miles on rural roads from the south end of the town just to get what they need.
“The post office is flooded up to its windows,” said Briney. “The water started Monday, and it’s inhabitable.”
Some other buildings in Browning were entirely surrounded by water. The town’s fire trucks and emergency vehicles had to be driven up to higher ground because the firehouse was flooded. A playground that would normally be filled with children’s laughter was filled with floodwater instead. Residents were still able to get two hot meals a day at the local senior center, where they could see the water lapping nearby as they looked out windows.
Browning is strong, resilient community. The Red Cross stands ready to support the needs of residents as the floodwaters recede. To support American Red Cross disaster relief for communities like Browning and others across the Midwest devastated by flooding, text REDCROSS to 90999, call 1-800-RED CROSS or visit redcross.org.