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Southern Arizona Red Cross volunteers help with Hurricane Ida relief efforts

Published: Aug. 30, 2021 at 7:54 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Relief efforts are underway in Louisiana on Monday, Aug. 30, as Hurricane Ida made landfall overnight.

One person is dead, hundreds of thousands are without power, and many left without a home.

Volunteers from the Red Cross Southern Arizona are putting boots on the ground.

Ardis Wait has been a volunteer for five years. She is currently stationed in Baton Rouge.

“A lot of devastation. Of course, all the electric is off. The electric is also off here in Baton Rouge in about half of the city. So, like the hotels we are staying in have no electricity. But here in the operations centers we have power.”

Hurricane Ida made landfall in New Orleans as a Category 4 storm.

Volunteers with the Red Cross are stationed Baton Rouge, helping hurricane victims. Five of them are from Southern Arizona.

“What I have been doing is picking up supplies from one location and delivering them to different shelters...Most of it has been food supplies,” she said. “The cots and blankets and all that was already set up earlier. So, I have been taking large cartons of to deliver food to the kitchens, they cook it and I take it back to the shelter.”

Right now, 20 shelters are set up.

“And they are in the process of setting up 20 more shelters,” explained Wait.

That’s because the number of evacuees grew overnight from 4,000, she said.

“Now they are estimating 7,800 people.”

Wait said, for her, it just took seeing the devastation to become a volunteer.

“Then you feel a need to serve again. We are all so lucky and we forget that it can all be taken away in a minute. Some of these people have lost everything but the clothes on their back,” said Wait. “I am not sure that I get more out of this than the people we are working for. It is very satisfying just to help people. Some people do not need much of anything, they just need someone to say hello.”

You can make a difference too, by sending monetary donations or becoming a Red Cross volunteer. Visit redcross.org, call 800-RED-CROSS for more information.

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