Iowa Red Cross volunteers helping with Colorado flood recovery

(Radio Iowa) – American Red Cross chapters from across Iowa are sending crews to Colorado, where severe flooding has claimed at least eight lives and destroyed hundreds of homes. Liz Dorland, spokeswoman for the chapter in Omaha/Council Bluffs, says the agency’s volunteers will be helping to staff emergency shelters where evacuees will be sheltered and fed.

“They will be comforting them, providing them hugs and hope for the future and just listening to them during this hard time,” Dorland says. “Being forced out of your home is very sad.” Some 16-hundred homes in 25 Colorado counties were destroyed by the flooding, thousands of others were damaged following storms that dumped up to ten inches of rain.

Dorland says more Red Cross crews from at least six Iowa chapters will be helping Colorado residents to get back on their feet, eventually. She says, “They will be in the flooded, impacted areas, in the shelters, delivering clean-up supplies.” Red Cross teams are headed west from chapters in Cedar Rapids, Council Bluffs, Des Moines, Fort Dodge, Sioux City and Waterloo. Many Iowans have friends and relatives in Colorado who are being impacted by the flooding.

Thousands of people have been evacuated and many hundreds have been out of contact for days. Dorland says, “We are encouraging concerned family members and friends who want to check on the status of their loved ones to go to Safe-and-Well, it’s a Red Cross website.”

You can reach that page by first going to www.RedCross.org and clicking on the “Safe and Well” link. It can also be reached directly at: safeandwell.communityos.org You can enter the person’s name and pre-disaster phone number or address and if that person has registered, friends and family will be able to see their message.