American Red Cross Pikes Peak Chapter Helps With Fargo Flooding

By: Rosie Barresi Email
By: Rosie Barresi Email

Just days after a blizzard sends Colorado into a state of emergency, the Red Cross is at it again dispatching dozens of its emergency volunteers to Fargo, North Dakota.

Thousands of homes have flooded because of a swelling Red River and major evacuations are underway.

The Red Cross in Colorado Springs says dozens more of Colorado's volunteers are on stand-by.

But the news released on Saturday by the National Weather Service says the Red River that runs along Fargo, North Dakota appears to be leveling off and could start to recede over the next few days.

"We at the city are not accepting that this is a crest. The water levels are maintaining. We have to be on high alert," said Pat Zavoral who is the Fargo City Administrator.

Which is why resources and help from even as far away as Colorado are still in play. "We're ready," said Jennifer Mariano who is with the American Red Cross Pikes Peak Chapter.

Mariano says there are more than 300 volunteers there now serving 15,000 meals a day. "You're working 18-20 hour days when you're there," said Mariano.

And if things do get worse, they'll be working those hours for quite some time. "In situations like this, we typically go in and are there for several weeks, however long it's needed," said Mariano.

"We have people that work with the emotional aspect of their recovery, as well. Counselors that help them with that," said Steve Wolfe who is with the American Red Cross.

Even if water levels do fall, hundreds of National Guard troops and homeowners are continuing to reinforce dikes, levees and homes with thousands of sand bags.

The hope is that the Red River really did reach its crest Saturday morning at just under 41-feet. The fear was that it would hit 43-feet and cause historic flooding. Now, only time will tell if levels will rise again or continue to fall.

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