Tuesday, January 14, 2014

My First Outing with the American Red Cross

Last week marked my start as an intern with the American Red Cross of Greater Columbus as a photographer. This past weekend I got the opportunity to document the Red Cross' effort in the small Marion county Ohio town of La Rue. In mid December just before Christmas the town, which lies next to the Scioto River, flooded. La Rue, which is already on a flood plain, experienced severe flooding, forcing most of the residents of the small town from their homes. Many homeowners in the village reported over two feet of water in their homes. The Red Cross acted fast to the emergency offering whatever assistance they could to those who were displaced from their homes. Several weeks later, as the residents returned to their homes, the Red Cross again made a visit. This time volunteers acting as Case Workers assessed the damages to the homes and provided food, clothing, and shelter to those who were in need. The residents welcomed the Volunteers with open arms, offering coffee and their stories of the flood.
"It's going to take quite a while to put this flood behind us, to accept our lost homes and belongings, but to see [the Red Cross] out here helps bring us comfort that we're not alone." One resident commented.
Though the risk of flooding is ever present as the ice and snow continues to melt and the unpredictable Ohio weather threatens more rain, the Red Cross' quick response and assistance in the wake of the flood gives the residents of La Rue some feeling of comfort.

When the water rose Brigette Boyd and her boyfriend lost the flooring in their home. "I've seen floods here before, it's kinda a given thats gonna happen when you live here, but I'd never seen the water so high," The water level rose above the 2 1/2 foot concrete base the house rests on and soaked into the wooden floor and carpet.

Volunteers form various Red Cross Chapters including The Red Cross of Greater Columbus and The Red Cross of Marion County gathered at the La Rue United Methodist Church for briefing early in the morning.

Red Cross volunteers take notes and listen to one resident's story about having to leave her home in a boat during the flood.

A Red Cross volunteer explains materials given to residents.

Though the major flooding occured around Christmas, large amounts of water remained in La Rue.

A resident of La Rue shows a Red Cross volunteer the pictures of the flood he took on his Ipad.

Red Cross volunteers talk to a woman whose home was affected by the flood and offer information and any assistance she may need.