Story: Flooding in Florida

PENSACOLA, FL May 2, 2014 — Over the past week, storms have left a wide swath of damage, devastation and despair from the Great Plains to the Gulf Coast and across the Mid-Atlantic. The Red Cross has been there every day to help. Here in Northwest Florida, many families who sought a dry, safe place when floodwaters rose, went to a Red Cross shelter.

Alaina Reed was awakened by her mother at 3 a.m. who was standing next to her bed in inch-deep water. Reed saw that her first-floor Forrest Creek apartment in Pensacola had rapidly rising murky water. Reed woke up her two children, six year-old Ayden and two year-old Lianna. The Reed family spent the next five hours sitting in the dark on the arms an back of their sofa until the sun came up. Then looking out the windows, Reed saw rescue teams bringing boats to the apartments. “The rescue workers carried the kids and our suitcase to the boats and then we were taken on a bus to the Red Cross shelter,” said Reed.

“The water came fast. And it rose high,” said long-time resident Calvin Grace, holding his hand some 4-feet above the
floor. Fortunately he was able to evacuate without a problem – except for the fact that he lost everything beyond for the
clothes he was wearing.

Another Forrest Creek resident, Jamerius Bush, awoke her family of five to take them to their upstairs neighbor when she discovered water rising in her apartment. When she left to go to a Red Cross shelter, she saw her new furniture that was delivered three days earlier, floating in her apartment.

In the days ahead, the Red Cross will also be working with local community partners to provide additional services to help families get back on their feet and begin to recover.

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