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Red Cross Caring for People in Eight States as Winter Storm Leaves Hundreds of Thousands Without Power
Date:1/30/2009

WASHINGTON, Jan. 30 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Almost 5,000 people escaped their frigid homes last night in American Red Cross shelters in areas where utility companies are working to restore power to more than 770,000 homes and businesses still in the dark after this week's storm. With new snow on the ground and a chilly weekend approaching, that number could grow as more cold weather grips the nation.

(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20090108/RedCrossLOGO)

"Our shelters are seeing more and more visitors as power outages continue," reported Joe Becker, Senior Vice President, Disaster Services for the Red Cross, "With official estimates calling for several more days without power, the Red Cross will be there offering shelter and warmth as long as people need us."

Ice and downed trees are making travel and access to the affected areas difficult. With phone service out too, officials in some communities are going door-to-door to check on residents and let them know where shelters are located. People coming to shelters report running out of food in their chilly homes. Temperatures in the affected areas are predicted to remain cold through the weekend. Residents of Missouri, Oklahoma, Illinois, Arkansas, Ohio, Tennessee and Indiana continue to battle ice, cold weather and power outages. The Red Cross has opened shelters in all of those states where people can escape the cold, get a warm meal, see a Red Cross nurse and spend some time with neighbors in the comfort and warmth.

If you would like to help, you can make a financial gift to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund and help the Red Cross provide shelter and food to those affected by this storm and other disasters. Call 1-800-RED-CROSS or 1-800-257-7575 (Spanish) or visit www.redcross.or
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SOURCE American Red Cross
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