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Tennessee volunteers aiding victims of southern floods


MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (AP/WMOT)  --   People in Southeast Texas are being evacuated from their flooded homes today and Tennessee volunteers with the Red Cross are on the move to provide aid.

People living along the Sabine River along the Texas – Louisiana line are facing the worst flooding the region has seen since 1884. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has issued a disaster declaration for much of the region.

Mike Cowles with the Heart of Tennessee Chapter of the Red Cross says local volunteers traveled this week to Mississippi and Louisiana where flooding in recent days has forced many from their homes.

Cowles says volunteers are stocking supplies, distributing food, doing damage estimates, and also providing counseling to those devastated by their losses.

“We have a lot of people, obviously, that have lost their homes to flooding and the storms, and there sometimes and some cases that we provide mental health services for those folks that have been affected by that.”

Cowles says Red Cross volunteers have to be prepared to go wherever their need, across town or across the country.

“The beauty about the Red Cross is we’re one Red Cross. When it’s necessary we all go to where we’re needed at. It doesn’t matter what part of the country you’re from. If you’re needed and you’ve got an opportunity and a chance that you want to go we’ll provide you that chance to go.”

Cowles says Red Cross volunteers train constantly for many types of disasters and that training is provided with charge.

If you’d like to learn how you can help those who’ve suffered flood losses across the South in recent days, or if you’d like to learn more about volunteering with the Red Cross, visit RedCross.org, call 800-Red-Cross, or text 9099 to make a $10 donation.