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Red Cross 'spread thin' as floods, tornadoes batter Midwest

Posted: 9:48 PM, Jun 02, 2019
Updated: 2019-06-05 12:28:30-04
Red Cross

BUCKNER, Mo. — As tornadoes touched down and floodwaters rushed in, some people have been left with nowhere to go during the last few weeks.

But in every disaster, there's one common denominator to be found: the American Red Cross.

The organization opened a shelter at Buckner United Methodist Church , 109 S. Hudson St, in Buckner, after the Missouri River breached two levees Saturday near Levasy, Missouri.

Kelly and John Landis noticed water creeping up their driveway by 3:30 p.m., a dangerously rapid rise of floodwater that overwhelmed the town.

"We went in the kitchen for a few minutes and, by the time we came back, it was about eight inches high," Kelly said. "We had less than 10 minutes to get all of our stuff."

The couple left behind their cat and most of their belongings.

"At first, you think it's not real, but then reality kicks in and you start realizing what you really don't have, as simple as a toothbrush," Kelly said.

The Landises were among 10 people who checked into the American Red Cross shelter Sunday in Buckner.

"We're a disaster response team, and that's what we do," Shelter Manager Carolyn Frost said. "This shelter will be open as long as it needs to be open."

From flooding to tornadoes to fires, the Red Cross has been swamped in recent weeks by devastation on both sides of the state line.

"Being that we are spread thin, we can always use monetary assistance," Frost said.

To donate, 41 Action News has partnered with the local Red Cross as it prepares for a busy summer.

The Buckner shelter said Sunday it also welcomed donations of clean towels, but Frost said clothing is not needed at this time and food cannot be accepted.

"When times get rough, Missourians step up to the plate and do what they've got to do, whatever it is, to help a neighbor," she said.

The Landises are grateful for the help but dread the days ahead when the water recedes.

"I don't want to go back," Kelly said. "It's going to be devastating."

She doesn't see a rebuild in their future.

"The world's changing too much with weather patterns and so it would be scary," Kelly said. "It would be scary for anybody."