Local Red Cross volunteers deploy to Louisiana

Red Cross disaster volunteers opening shelters, providing meals, comfort

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Local Red Cross volunteers head to south Louisiana Monday to help people affected by the recent floods.

Area residents such as Evelyn Penney will deploy to Louisiana to help families forced from their homes into shelters. Penney will make the 15th person deployed from the North Florida region over the past few days.

“It’s just a sad situation down there,” Penney said. “So I'm going to do what I can.”

The American Red Cross is helping more than 10,000 people in dozens of emergency shelters in Louisiana after unprecedented flooding has sent 15 rivers to record levels.

Red Cross disaster volunteers are opening shelters, providing meals and comfort. Additional volunteers, relief supplies and emergency response vehicles are moving toward Louisiana now to bolster response efforts.

The recent floods left the home belonging to St. Johns County resident Jeremy Purvis' 65-year old mother under water.

“She lost everything -- car, house," Purvis, who grew up in Baton Rouge said. "(She) couldn't afford flood insurance. It was just too expensive.”

Purvis said he’s raising money so his mother can start over. He’s going to pick her up as soon as the flood waters go down and the roads are drivable again.

“We’re going to get her here,” Purvis said. “We're going to rescue her pets.”

Flooding is expected to continue for several days. Once waters recede it will take some time to fully uncover the extent of the devastation. The Red Cross will be working closely with partners in the days ahead to ensure people receive the help they need as quickly as possible. Flooding is also threatening communities in Mississippi, where Red Cross volunteers provided safe refuge to nearly 70 people Saturday night.

To help people affected by the Louisiana floods, visit redcross.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS or text the word LAFLOODS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.

Donations enable the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recovery from these disasters.

Click here to become a Red Cross volunteer.

Purvis set up a GoFundMe page to help raise money for his mother.

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