Story: Flooding in Florida

May 2, 2014

PENSACOLA, FL May 2, 2014 — Over the past week, storms have left a wide swath of damage, devastation and despair from the Great Plains to the Gulf Coast and across the Mid-Atlantic. The Red Cross has been there every day to help. Here in Northwest Florida, many families who sought a dry, safe place when floodwaters rose, went to a Red Cross shelter.

Alaina Reed was awakened by her mother at 3 a.m. who was standing next to her bed in inch-deep water. Reed saw that her first-floor Forrest Creek apartment in Pensacola had rapidly rising murky water. Reed woke up her two children, six year-old Ayden and two year-old Lianna. The Reed family spent the next five hours sitting in the dark on the arms an back of their sofa until the sun came up. Then looking out the windows, Reed saw rescue teams bringing boats to the apartments. “The rescue workers carried the kids and our suitcase to the boats and then we were taken on a bus to the Red Cross shelter,” said Reed.

“The water came fast. And it rose high,” said long-time resident Calvin Grace, holding his hand some 4-feet above the
floor. Fortunately he was able to evacuate without a problem – except for the fact that he lost everything beyond for the
clothes he was wearing.

Another Forrest Creek resident, Jamerius Bush, awoke her family of five to take them to their upstairs neighbor when she discovered water rising in her apartment. When she left to go to a Red Cross shelter, she saw her new furniture that was delivered three days earlier, floating in her apartment.

In the days ahead, the Red Cross will also be working with local community partners to provide additional services to help families get back on their feet and begin to recover.

Disaster Update: Baxter Springs

May 2, 2014

Images courtesy of Red Crosser, Meghan Spreer

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The Pitt State Volleyball team is in Baxter Springs helping clean debris this morning.

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April and her husband Roy will rebuild their home in Baxter Springs. Thankfully they – along with the dog and cat – made it safely to the basement when their home was struck by a tornado.

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Yesterday, volunteers served hot meals to those in Baxter Springs.

Video: Eastern Virginia Volunteers Respond to North Carolina Tornadoes

April 28, 2014

Disaster Update: Severe Weather in North Carolina

April 28, 2014

North Carolina – A line of severe storms caused tornado activity and flooding that damaged homes as well as structures and left thousands of residents without power in the eastern portion of the state on Friday. Multiple injuries reported.

Disaster Action Team Members from the Eastern North Carolina Region opened two shelters for residents within the affected area, collaborated with other organizations for Mass Care, provided individual assistance and conducted bulk distribution.

Disaster Update: Tornadoes and Severe Weather in KS, MO, AR, OK, TN,

April 28, 2014

The Red Cross is helping people in Arkansas and several other states by providing shelter, food, relief supplies, health and mental health services to those affected.

Arkansas – Severe storms caused tornado activity in several portions of the state that destroyed and damaged homes closed a major highway and left thousands without power on Sunday. The Red Cross communicated with Emergency Management, deployed team members, opened shelters, supported others and provided assistance to residents affected by the storm as needed.

More than 200 people spent Sunday night in shelters in Arkansas that were opened or supported by Red Cross workers. Red Cross emergency vehicles will be distributing food throughout the affected areas. Mental health support will also be available to help people cope with the aftermath.

Kansas – A line of severe storms caused tornado activity that damaged homes in Cherokee County on Sunday. A State of Emergency is declared. Team members from the Red Cross were deployed to the scene to assess damage and determine response for affected residents.

Missouri – Widespread storms threatened residents in several portions of the state, caused damages and disrupted traffic on Sunday. Tornado Watches and Warnings are in effect. The Red Cross talked with local Emergency Management and is monitoring in preparation of response.

Oklahoma – A line of severe storms caused tornado activity and flooding that damaged homes as well as buildings and affected residents in multiple counties in the state on Sunday. The Red Cross communicated with Emergency Management, deployed team members to provide assistance to residents within the affected area and opened a shelter.

Tennessee – A strong and slow moving storm system with the potential for large hail, damaging winds and tornado activity was forecast for portions of the state late Sunday thru Tuesday. The Red Cross placed resources on standby in anticipation of response to the storm.

Disaster Update: Washington Landslide Response

April 22, 2014

The Red Cross is still responding to the Washington landslides one month later:

  • Red Cross workers are meeting one-on-one with residents to learn about their individual needs, create personal recovery plans, provide support for their individual recovery needs, and locate assistance from other agencies.
  • The Red Cross is providing direct financial support to people who need extra help, including assistance with funeral expenses, travel and housing expenses for out-of-town relatives, mental health counseling and increased fuel costs due to the closure of SR530.
  • The Red Cross is also supporting people whose homes were damaged or destroyed by the landslide with resources to help replace furniture and pay for security deposits, rent and utilities.  

Red Cross assistance is still available. People who need help should call 425-740-2325.

Since the March 22 landslide, the Red Cross has mobilized five response vehicles and a total of more than 500 trained workers – about half of them from Washington State. These Red Cross workers have served more than 29,000 meals and snacks, handed out more than 7,000 comfort and relief items, and provided more than 8,000 mental health or health-related contacts. In addition, Red Cross shelters have provided 142 overnight stays.


Disaster Alert: Severe Weather in Arkansas

April 14, 2014

Disaster Alert

Arkansas – Two lines of severe storms caused heavy rain, hail and high winds that caused disrupted travel, minor damages and power outages in multiple counties within the state on Sunday.

The Arkansas Region contacted local and state officials, will provide assistance as necessary to affected families and continues to monitor the situation.