Oklahoma Red Cross volunteers helping in Colorado

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Updated: 9/16/2013 2:51 pm Published: 9/16/2013 2:51 pm

Two Eastern Oklahoma Red Cross volunteers left for Colorado Monday morning to assist with Red Cross rescue operations.

The team picked up a Red Cross Emergency Response Vehicle in Enid and is going to the relief operations area in Colorado where the Red Cross is providing food, shelter, relief supplies and comfort to thousands of people forced from their homes by devastating flash flooding.

Eastern Oklahoma Red Cross Emergency Response Vehicles also are on stand-by for activation in the event additional resources are needed.

Red Cross disaster workers are at the Boulder airport reception center to provide care and comfort as stranded residents arrive after being airlifted out of flooded neighborhoods and towns. Sunday night, as many as 1,000 people stayed in 24 shelters across the state.

“The Red Cross is making sure that people in Colorado get the help they need,” said Richard Reed, senior vice president of Disaster Cycle Services for the Red Cross. “We’re expanding our relief efforts as more workers, equipment and supplies arrive – and we’ll be on the ground for weeks to come helping people recover.”

The Red Cross is working closely with local emergency management officials, the Colorado National Guard and community organizations to ensure people get the help they need. More than 250 trained Red Cross disaster workers are deployed to Colorado, along with more than 20 emergency response vehicles and six trucks of relief supplies. Working with the Southern Baptist Convention, the Red Cross has served more than 7,100 meals and snacks.

Government officials estimate as many as 18,000 homes are affected by the Colorado flooding. Access to some communities remains difficult due to flood waters and damaged roads. As these areas begin to re-open, the Red Cross will be there to assess the damage, distribute relief supplies and support a recovery effort that will take weeks and months.

Flooding has also caused numerous evacuations in New Mexico and Texas and Red Cross workers are helping people in those states, providing shelter, meals and comfort for those affected. More than 50 people spent Sunday night in four shelters in New Mexico and Texas. The region continues to be a relief priority for the Red Cross as more rain is expected in the area from tropical storm systems over the next few days.

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