American Red Cross QC crews pulling in extra flood volunteers

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Local volunteers are working hard to keep up with the number of flood victims. 

Crews with the American Red Cross already spent weeks helping people with the flooding. 

Employees and volunteers at the Moline headquarters say Tuesday’s breach in Davenport has them calling in more volunteers from nearby chapters.

More than two dozen people were evacuated from Downtown Davenport after water overpowered the HESCO barriers in the area. 

“Obviously it has escalated this past week as the heavy rains and new crest levels,” says Trish Burnett, executive director of the American Red Cross Quad Cities chapter.

For the group’s staff and volunteers, this week’s events are just the latest in a very long flood response. 

“We started with the Rock and Wapsi River flooding and we started with that first and then it kind of rolled into the Mississippi response, so we have been doing this a lot,” Burnett says. 

It’s why Richard Mitton was there on Wednesday. 

“They called me today and said they were shorthanded and needed some help, so here I am,” Mitton says. 

For the past 49 days, their Moline office has been disaster headquarters. 

Leaders coordinate food, water and cleanup supplies.

Mitton is one of the volunteers who helps distribute it all. 

“I feel bad for all the people that are affected so far,” he says. 

Mitton was a firefighter for more than 40 years and knows how hectic flood help can get.

“We were pretty busy sandbagging and with the fire department we were kind of incharge of that with the rescues and stuff,” says Mitton. 

Flood-hit areas where volunteers are hitting the ground include Buffalo, Muscatine and Hampton. 

“We’re in so many different areas they’re kind of short on volunteers with the Red Cross right now,” Mitton says. 

And with the Mighty Mississippi expected to stay in flood stage through most of may, Burnett says the need for volunteers and shelters could increase.

“Depending on what the crest does to certain areas we could see some evacuation orders that would increase that number also,” she says.

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