Oklahoma Volunteers Continue To Pour Into Flooded Tennessee, Mississippi

Monday, May 9th 2011, 8:52 pm
By: News 9

Rusty Surette, Red Cross and News 9 Special Contributor

OXFORD, Mississippi -- The Mississippi River is flooding communities in Tennessee and Mississippi, and Oklahomans are here to help with this historic event.

I'm still in northwest Mississippi where at least one Red Cross shelter is open and more could open in the coming days as the river continues to rise. The situation is much worse in Tennessee where several Red Cross volunteers from Oklahoma are on hand.

Charity Nayak and Kim O'Brien are from Lawton and right now they are driving a Red Cross ERV (Emergency Response Vehicle) in Memphis. These ERVs are usually stocked with meals, cleaning supplies, comfort kits, water and snacks for residents impacted by a disaster.

Stephanie Troy and Melanie Jennings are from Oklahoma City and they're in Memphis helping out with family shelters. At least are open in Memphis, according to Troy.

"When we were driving from the airport to the shelters we saw lots of water and flooding in the area," said Troy when I talked with her on the phone Monday afternoon.

According to news reports, The Mississippi rose toward the highest level ever in the Memphis area, flooding pockets of low-lying neighborhoods and forcing more than 1,000 people from their homes.

Here in Mississippi we have had volunteers from Norman, Lawton, Enid and Oklahoma City assisting with victims of floods and tornadoes.

Bruce and Pam Travis of Tecumseh were also here in Oxford, Mississippi last week assisting with damage assessment assignments.

The Red Cross estimates that it will spend as much as $31 million responding to the disasters, which have occurred over the past several weeks. That amount does not include what will be spent for the Mississippi River flooding response, which is just beginning to take shape. To date, about $16 million has been raised in donations.

Remember the Red Cross is not funded by any government agency and that's why I'm asking that you please consider making a donation today to help the thousands of people who have been affected by these disasters.

To donate, you can visit www.okc.redcross.org, call (405) 228-9500 or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.

By the way, when I asked Stephanie Troy if there was anything else I needed to report from her post up in Memphis she said "Go Thunder!"