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Red Cross Sheltering Those Hit by Floods in Southeast
Date:9/22/2009

WASHINGTON, Sept. 22 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As rising flood waters cover the Southeast, hundreds have looked to the American Red Cross for shelter as officials estimate the number of people needing help could rise dramatically.

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

Overnight more than 220 people took refuge in Red Cross shelters in Georgia, North Carolina, Alabama and Tennessee. Georgia has been hit the hardest, particularly around the city of Atlanta where as much as a foot of rain fell Monday. According to news reports, the flooding has claimed at least eight lives. Governor Sonny Purdue has declared a state of emergency in 17 counties and authorities are urging people to stay home if possible.

Red Cross is providing a safe place to stay, food to eat, and a shoulder to lean on for those affected by the flooding which has prompted evacuations, washed out bridges, caused landslides, and closed highways across the area.

"These flood waters can come up very rapidly. People should be prepared to evacuate at a moment's notice," said Joe Becker, Senior Vice President Red Cross Disaster Services, "We have shelters open which offer a safe haven for those who have been forced out of their homes."

Preliminary estimates from emergency management officials indicate that as many as 1,000 people could potentially need sheltering.

Red Cross offers the following steps people should take to be ready and stay safe:

  • Be prepared to evacuate at a moment's notice.
  • Stay away from floodwaters. If you come upon a flowing stream where water is above your ankles, stop, turn around and go another way. Six inches of swiftly moving water can sweep you off of your feet.
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SOURCE American Red Cross
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