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Volunteers with local American Red Cross helping flood victims in Louisiana

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Heavy rain has pelted parts of several southern states over the past few days, prompting water rescues and forcing people to evacuate their homes. The state of Tennessee is stepping up to help. 

The weather may be nice here in the Tennessee Valley but our neighbors to the south and west of us are dealing with historic flooding. Teams with the American Red Cross from across the state of Tennessee are heading that way to help.

John Simes and his wife, Cathy, go over a last-minute checklist before making their way down to Louisiana. Monday, a team of three Red Cross volunteers left from Chattanooga.
"We're headed down to Shreveport, Louisiana to help with the flooding," says Cathy.

The Simes have volunteered with the American Red Cross for almost a year and have helped with disasters in east Tennessee. This is their first cross-country deployment.
"There's a lot of suffering right now going on in Shreveport. A lot of disastrous flooding and we're just going to try and provide some comfort," says Cathy.

Parts of Louisiana have not flooded this badly in 30 years and are experiencing the worst non-hurricane flooding the state has seen.
"We've been prepared to supply them with food, emergency blankets, response kits, clean up kits, water," says Cathy.

"All you can do is be there with open arms," says John.

For John, it is a chance to let flood victims know others care.
"I'm a military veteran and I've seen it first hand, locations and situations of people that are displaced. And I want to continue helping others," he says.

"It's neighbor helping neighbor and one day I hope there's a neighbor that's going to help me too," says Cathy.

The teams will stay deployed as long as there is a need to help. The American Red Cross says right now it needs monetary donations. For more information on how you can help, you can call the Chattanooga chapter of the American Red Cross at (423) 265-3455 or click here.

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