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Red Cross To Help In Mena Disaster
By Wanda Freeman
Red Cross workers from five area offices were set to converge in and around Polk County in the wake of a deadly storm that killed three people in Mena, a Red Cross official said Friday.
Roger Elliot, disaster director for the American Red Cross of Greater Arkansas in Little Rock, said about 12 people were deployed to conduct damage assessments in Mena and another four were doing the same in De Queen.
Susan Krafft, director of the agency’s Western Arkansas Service Center in Fort Smith, said her office was sending two people in an emergency response vehicle loaded with water and tarps donated by Lowe’s as well as flashlights and other supplies.
“We’re encouraging people not to go there on their own,” Krafft said, citing reports of a possible gas leak and indications the area had “more volunteers than they can handle right now.”
Elliot said an ERV was set to leave Little Rock and swing through Hot Springs to pick up cots and deliver them to Mena by 6 p.m. for a shelter set up for victims and relief workers. Another ERV was standing by in Pine Bluff, and four workers were waiting to be deployed to nearby Crossett.
“We’re coordinating with the Salvation Army and Southern Baptist Disaster Relief to provide food,” he said.
The Southern Baptist group was cooking meals that would then be served by the Salvation Army at three fixed locations Friday night.
A mobile feeding operation would provide meals today in De Queen, where a trailer park was struck by the storm.
In addition to the Little Rock and Fort Smith offices of Red Cross, Elliot said other offices contributing relief work were the Ouachita Area office in Hot Springs, the North Central Arkansas office in White County and the Southeastern Arkansas office in Pine Bluff.
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John Brummett John Brummett is a columnist and reporter for the Stephens Media LLC’s Arkansas News Bureau in Little Rock Blog:
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