Deadliest Start to Tornado Season in 9 Years
The American Red Cross is on the ground across six states, helping people affected by record severe storms, flooding and tornadoes which hit the southern Plains and Mississippi Valley regions. More than 230 people sought refuge from the storms Sunday night in 25 shelters across six states. There have been as many as 10 reported fatalities, although that figure is expected to rise.
“This month is historically the peak month for tornadoes, so it’s critical that people stay informed and get prepared,” said Brad Kieserman, vice president of Disaster Operations and Logistics for the Red Cross. “Our first priority is providing shelter, so that those affected have a safe place to stay. As more severe weather is expected for this coming weekend, the Red Cross will go where we’re needed for as long as we’re needed. When conditions improve, we will then help people in their first steps on the path to recovery.”
In Missouri, some communities were forced to evacuate due to rising rivers, and more evacuations could occur today. Red Cross disaster workers have opened numerous shelters where more than 130 people spent Sunday night. Flooding also hit central and southern Illinois, so the Red Cross is also helping in that area.
The Red Cross also has shelters open in Arkansas, where the governor declared a state of emergency after residents in Sharp and Fulton counties were forced to leave their homes due to river flooding. In Oklahoma, Red Cross disaster workers opened shelters after the governor declared a state of emergency due to severe storms, flooding and snow affecting a large part of the state.
Tornadoes ripped apart parts of Texas, where as many as 5,000 buildings may be affected. And in Kansas, a major snowstorm dumped more than a foot of snow. The Red Cross has shelters open in both states.
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.
The Red Cross depends on the generous support of the American public to fulfill its crucial mission. Help people affected by disasters like floods, wildfires and countless other crises by making a donation to support Red Cross Disaster Relief. These gifts enable the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small. Make a donation by visiting www.redcross.org.
Source: American Red Cross, Washington DC.