Three disaster volunteers with the American Red Cross in San Diego have left for Louisiana to help victims of unprecedented flooding that has killed at least 10 people in the southern state.
Gov. John Bel Edwards said 40,000 homes have been impacted by the high waters to some degree, and more than 8,000 people spent Monday night in shelters. Tens of thousands were without electricity in the affected area in eight parishes near the state capital of Baton Rouge.
A total of five San Diego Red Cross volunteers are assigned to Louisiana, where they will work in shelters and warehouses, and assist with logistics and mapping. One is set to fly out Wednesday and another is helping remotely via computer.
“The current flooding in Louisiana is the worst natural disaster to strike the United States since Superstorm Sandy,” said Bill Earley, CEO of the American Red Cross of San Diego/Imperial Counties. “The Red Cross is mounting a massive relief operation, which we anticipate will cost at least $30 million and that number may grow as we learn more about the scope and magnitude of the devastation.”
The Red Cross and community partners are running 36 shelters, and more than 1,000 disaster volunteers have been mobilized from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico to help with the Louisiana relief efforts, according to the relief agency.
The Red Cross is also mobilizing more than 60 disaster response vehicles, nearly 40,000 ready-to-eat meals, and dozens of trailers filled with shelter and kitchen supplies.
Earley said San Diegans can make a financial donation by visiting redcross.org, calling (800) RED-CROSS, or (800) 733-2767, or texting the word LAFLOODS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.
–City News Service
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