Red Cross Moves Supplies Into North Dakota as Rising Flood Waters Threaten

March 23, 2009

Trailers Filled With Cots, Blankets, Meals Begin Arriving in Fargo

WASHINGTON, March 23 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — As residents of the Red River valley prepare for potentially record flooding, the American Red Cross is moving into position to provide help where needed. More than 24,000 prepackaged meals are expected to arrive today, along with thousands of cots, blankets and toiletry kits.

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These supplies are expected to be used for evacuation shelters, which may open within the next 48 to 72 hours, depending on weather conditions. In addition, the Red Cross is gearing up for an extended relief operation, placing volunteers from around the nation on standby to move to North Dakota when needed.

The Red Cross already has five mobile feed trucks in the area providing food and drinks for the volunteer crews racing to fill 1.9 million sandbags needed to fight the flood waters. The city has set up Sandbag Central, where machines fill sandbags around the clock. About 400,000 to 500,000 bags must be filled each day to reach the goal of 1.9 million by the end of the week, according to local officials.

Major flooding hit the area in 1997, after which a levee system was built to protect the city of Fargo. However, weekend storms increased the flood threat and sped up emergency preparations in the Red River Valley. Flood stage is 18 feet, and some forecasters are reporting the river could rise as high as 52 feet above flood level over the next week, worse than conditions in 1997.

For updates, including photos and video footage, visit the American Red Cross Disaster Online Newsroom. If you would like to help, please visit www.redcross.org, or call 1-800-RED CROSS.

All American Red Cross disaster assistance is free, made possible by voluntary donations of time and money from the American people. You can help the victims of thousands of disasters across the country each year, disasters like spring floods, by making a financial gift to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund, which enables the Red Cross to provide shelter, food, counseling and other assistance to victims of disaster. The American Red Cross honors donor intent. If you wish to designate your donation to a specific disaster please do so at the time of your donation. Call 1-800-REDCROSS or 1-800-257-7575 (Spanish). Contributions to the Disaster Relief Fund may be sent to your local American Red Cross chapter or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013. Internet users can make a secure online contribution by visiting www.redcross.org.

SOURCE American Red Cross

Source: newswire

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