Local Red Cross Volunteers Aid in Relief Effort in Colorado

Local Red Cross Volunteers Aid in Relief Effort in Colorado

Volunteers respond to the severe flooding in Colorado, following torrential rains last week.
(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) When asked if he's ready to go volunteer at yet another disaster, Joe Sorrento smiles and says, "This is what I do.  I'm prepared for whatever they throw at us."

Sorrento has volunteered for the American Red Cross for ten years.

Backed by nearly twenty seven years of military experience, he's been to tornadoes and floods and all sorts of disasters in between.

Now he's headed to Colorado to help feed those displaced by the horrific flooding, which has affected 15 counties and destroyed thousands of homes.

Some parts of the state have received nearly 20 inches of rain in just a few days.

"We've kind of been on standby for the past few days waiting for the call to come," Sorrento said, recalling when he saw the phone ring on his wife's phone over the weekend.  "We knew it was coming.  We're just ready to go.  It's been a while.  My last trip out was in Oklahoma, for the tornado that hit Norman."

Bill Caldwell, another local volunteer, has been in Colorado since Saturday.

He says he is taken aback by the sheer devastation of the raging waters.

"It's really hard to describe, because you can go from a flooded area to a non-flooded area in just a few hundred yards.  The ferocity of the water coming out of the mountains, the speed at which it flows - the Missouri River is nothing like that," Caldwell said.

Inclement weather and high altitudes have made rescue missions difficult. 

There are still hundreds of people unaccounted for, waiting rescue.

"There are areas that nobody's been into yet," Caldwell said.  "And that's the other thing.  As far as the human toll, and the monetary toll, there are still some unknowns."

Angie Springs, executive director at the Midland Empire chapter of the American Red Cross says the flooding in Colorado hasn't had enough media coverage.

She urges people to give something to help the Red Cross effort there.

"It's amazing to see the Red Cross in times of disaster," Springs said.  "People from all over the United States come together; they're trained by the Red Cross and they could be staff or volunteers.  They come in and set up a remote location for the Red Cross from the top down."

Springs says any volunteer or financial help would go directly to the relief effort in Colorado.

You can mail a donation to the Red Cross at 401 North 12th Street in St. Joseph.

You can call 1-800-Red-Cross, or visit their website.

Finally you can text REDCROSS to the number 90999 and you'll give a 10 dollar donation with that.

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