Friday, May 27, 2011

Shelters Opened in Response to Flash Flooding

(May 27, 2011) The heavy rains that fell last night and into the early hours on Friday brought flash flooding to many parts of Central Vermont. Working with local emergency managment officials, and in response to their requests, the VT & the NH Valley American Red Cross opened four shelters. Between 11:00 p.m. on Thursday night and 2:15 a.m. Friday morning, shelters were opened in Berlin, Barre, Montpelier and St. Johnsbury.

Pictured above, an American Red Cross disaster services vehicle arrives in Barre as a shelter was being opened at the City Auditorium. In Montpelier, a shelter was opened at the National Life building. Those shelters, as of early this morning, had 70 and 50 people respectively.

An evacuation shelter was opened in Berlin, with shelter residents subsequently being relocated to the Barre Auditorium. The St. Johnsbury shelter was opened as a precautionary step in light of numerous homes being evacuated. With no residents seeking Red Cross services, that shelter was later closed down and volunteers put on standby should additional rains today create a need to re-open.

With over 300 shelter agreements in place with locations throughout the cities and towns of Vermont and New Hampshire's Upper Valley, Red Cross volunteers are prepared to act quickly in response to requests of local and state officials when sheltering needs arise.

This latest disaster will make an already tight financial picture for the Red Cross even tighter, as the Vermont & the New Hampshire Valley American Red Cross continues to meet the needs of those impacted by disaster in an unusually busy year.