With at least 13 deaths and more than 40 thousand homes destroyed, the widespread flooding in Louisiana continues to be a serious problem. In some areas, the water is still rising and forecasters predict more rain is on the way.
Massive relief efforts continue from both federal and state agencies with support from the National Guard and other organizations. The nation’s premiere humanitarian organization, the American Red Cross, is currently sheltering more than 8,000 people.
Gail McGovern, President and CEO of the American Red Cross, joined Roland Martin on NewsOne Now to discuss the ongoing relief efforts to help the residents of Louisiana deal with the historic floods.
At the peak of the crisis, McGovern said the Red Cross housed 10,000 people living in their shelters, many of them have lost everything and are “really hurting.”
McGovern estimates relief efforts in Louisiana will cost approximately $30 million dollars and welcomed donations of any size to help out those impacted by the floods.
Not only are monetary gifts important to help the struggling region recover, blood donations are needed as well. McGovern told Martin the storms and flooding forced the Red Cross to cancel blood drives: “If people want to give the gift of life and donate blood, that’s a wonderful way to help out as well.”
The organization is also looking for volunteers to help their efforts in the region.
The floods have also impacted the area’s education system, forcing many schools to delay opening their doors. McGovern said, “I’m sure that the state is scrambling to get them open, because that’s a wonderful symbol of recovery.”
When asked about the long-term impact of the historic flooding, McGovern said, “We’re going to be in the community for a long time. We live here, we have volunteers and staff that were personally impacted that lost their homes.
“We’re here, we’ll stay here, and we’ll make sure that we take care of the people in Louisiana.”
Watch Roland Martin and Gail McGovern discuss the immediate as well as long-term impact of the devastating Louisiana floods in the video clip above.
If you would like to donate to the Red Cross to support their relief efforts, please visit www.redcross.org or call 800-Red-Cross.
PHOTO CREDIT: Getty