Red Cross Volunteers Looking for Relief

By Sarah Thomsen, WBAY – Click HERE for video of story:

As the recent storms continue to pelt Northeast Wisconsin, it’s putting a strain on a group of volunteers that’s always there as soon as the severe weather passes.

Since June 15th we’ve seen flooding from Fond du Lac to Black Creek to Green Bay and wind damage and hail from Crivitz to Appleton.

And after each of these storms, American Red Cross volunteers were called to action.

“In the past two weeks we’ve had 70 volunteers that participated in helping people in need,” Steve Maricque, executive director of the American Red Cross Lakeland Chapter said.

Volunteers don’t abandon one area when severe weather hits somewhere else.

There were still crews in Wittenberg Wednesday after Tuesday’s damaging winds, and the flooding problems in Black Creek and the Fox Valley haven’t disappeared, either.

All these storms are stretching volunteers thin.

“It is a strain on them because of the amount of time and effort that goes into it, so we’re always looking for good people that want to help, that want to be trained,” Maricque said.

Not only does the local Red Cross chapter need volunteers, it also needs donations to help replenish the supplies they’re going through so quickly.

“We provide a mop, broom, a squeegee to move water around.”

With flooding the biggest problem this summer, volunteers are going through a lot of clean-up kits.

“Just in the last two weeks we’ve gone through 128 clean-up kits, so we’ve got additional supplies that are ready in anticipation of rain that’s going to be coming again tomorrow.”

Morning after storms hit; Waking up in Wittenberg

WITTENBERG – Residents in the Wittenberg area in Shawano County are waking up to a big cleanup this morning.

Trees are uprooted all across the area from strong winds that swept through the area Tuesday evening. Some of the trees fell on power lines.

Strong winds tore off part of the Wittenberg-Birnamwood High School roof, sending debris and insulation away from the school. The winds also left behind a mess inside the gymnasium.

Residents say a trailer flipped over and crushed a man’s leg, but there is no word on his condition.

The owners of a dairy farm say their barn fell in on their animals, with no way to get them out. The family says it had to put down about 60 cows.

The Red Cross tells FOX 11 News the agency has 21 volunteers in the area. Officials set up an emergency shelter at the elementary school, but it’s not clear how many people spent the night. The Salvation Army is hosting a breakfast this morning.

The fire department started out around 4:30 a.m. to start cutting up trees.

The mayor and police and fire departments are expected to hold a news conference at 11:30 a.m.

FOX 11’s Laura Smith is in Wittenberg and will have reports on Good Day Wisconsin and fox11online throughout the morning.

Emergency Crews Prepared for Another Round of Rain

By Jason Zimmerman, WBAY-TV2  – click HERE for Video of Story

Firefighters in Black Creek were busy since Monday afternoon’s storm assisting in a massive clean-up effort — fighting off almost three inches of rain that hit in a span of just 30 minutes.

Crews went through neighborhoods pumping water out of basements and low-lying areas.

“What we did is, we sent out a city watch. It’s a program of the Outagamie County Sheriff’s Department, and they called every residence in the village of Black Creek to let them know if their basements are filled with water that they should call the Black Creek Fire Department and we will send a crew out to help them,” Fire Chief Scott Yahle said.

Dozens of donated pumps were dropped off at the fire department for distribution. Sandbags were filled and placed on pallets if they were needed to hold back flood water.

Firefighters responded to about two dozen houses where flooding was an issue. Many of those residents were extremely grateful.

“It just got overwhelmed and went over the top of the sump pump,” Jeremy Kling said.

At the village hall, flood kits were begin handed out to assist in the clean-up.

“Those flood kits the Red Cross hands out have a mop and a broom, some brushes, some sponges, bleach, detergent, so basically the stuff you would need once the water leaves your basement, you could use to clean it up,” Outagamie County Emergency Management Director Christina Peters explained.

Since the village drains took on so much water Monday, firefighters say it could take at least another 24 hours to dry out — and that’s after the rain lets up.

Any residents in Black Creek with flood-damaged items can put them on the curb. The village plans a pick-up on Wednesday and Thursday.

Miss Wisconsin is a Red Cross Volunteer

l-r) Cassandra Frankel, Red Cross volunteer; Kimberly Sawyer, Red Cross volunteer & Miss Wisconsin; Lori Lewis, Midwest Communications; WNCY Radio personality Charli McKenzie. Photo Credit: Mauree Childress, Development Director, Lakeland Chapter

Tuesday, July 20, 2010 —

Whether Green Bay’s Lakeland Chapter of the American Red Cross is organizing a blood drive or sponsoring a golf tournament, the chapter can count on the help of Kimberly Sawyer, Miss Wisconsin 2010.

A Red Cross volunteer since college, Sawyer says she “likes to help people and help them help others.”Originally Sawyer came to the Red Cross as a blood donor. One of her cousins had leukemia at a young age and several blood transfusions saved his life, so when St. Norbert College held a blood drive Sawyer donated blood for the first time. She started talking to Red Cross staff and other donors, and, in her own words, “fell in love with the Red Cross and the wonderful things it does.”

Now a college graduate and a year-round volunteer, Sawyer has expanded the time she spends helping the Red Cross fulfill its mission to provide relief to victims of disasters and help people prevent, prepare for and respond to emergencies. “All of us are so proud of Kimberly’s passion and her gift to give back,” says Red Cross communications director Barbara Behling. “This gal lives by what she says.”

When the chapter held a Dance with Our Stars fundraiser, Sawyer was there to help raise funds and awareness of Red Cross programs and services. Participating in the event took a lot of time—dancers received professional lessons, trained with their partners and then performed for a sell-out crowd.

Six months ago when the Haiti earthquake hit Sawyer was one of the first to offer to help with local fundraising efforts. The chapter partnered with the Festival Foods grocery store chain and Midwest Communications to have a radio, remote and in-store blitz. Sawyer tirelessly stood in Festival Foods stores, a smile on her face and a donation bucket in her hand.

Now Miss Wisconsin and on her way to the Miss America Pageant, Sawyer is able to do so much more than personally volunteer. She has the opportunity to inspire others to follow in her footsteps—and that is exactly what she is doing.

It is no surprise that Sawyer’s Miss Wisconsin Platform is volunteerism. She is encouraging people to volunteer, and to find volunteer opportunities that fit each person’s individual interests and goals. “It is imperative that each individual volunteer find a ‘Service for the Soul,’ a cause or organization that they can be passionate about,” Sawyer says.

She adds, “Even in tough economic times, we can build bridges, make a difference ancontribute to the character of our communities one volunteer at a time.”

About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation’s blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization — not a government agency — and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit www.redcross.org or join our blog at http://blog.redcross.org.

Flooding in Black Creek Closes Highway 54

To view video of WBAY NEWS STORY: Click HERE

Photos from Jeanne Carrier

Streets turned to rivers and basements became swimming pools after a storm rolled through Black Creek, dumping heavy rain on the town.

A street worker tells Action 2 News they recorded 2.8 inches of rain in 20 minutes.

The storm that caused the flooding popped up just before 11:30. StormCenter 2’s VIPIR showed the storm made its way through Outagamie County around noon.

The storm was able to cause so much flooding because it was only moving around ten miles an hour, allowing rains to build up.

Highway 54 west of Black Creek will be closed for several hours because of the water, the Outagamie County Sheriff’s Department says.

Normally, rain collects west of the village and drains to the north, but not this day. At four o’clock there was still three or four feet of water on the roadway even though most of the standing water around the rest of the town had drained away.

Other parts of the village that were submerged were closer to downtown. Forest Road, Main Street, and Birch Street were all under water.

The water was about three feet deep in the road, coming up to the foundations of some of the homes. One person described the water as having whitecaps.

Photos from Jeanne Carrier

Late Monday afternoon the village police chief gave us an update, saying about two dozen homes have basement flooding. We’re also told a chiropractor’s office was flooded.

“Made a comment that we had a river on our road and that it kept working its way back to the back of the house, and we had a lake. The water kept growing and increasing,” Mason Rehl said.

Power was out in a few spots.

Firefighters went door-to-door to make sure people were safe.  The American Red Cross came out with flood kits. Outagamie County Emergency Management brought pumps and made sure people have the tools they need to start cleaning.

“Emergency Management and the Outagamie County Sheriff’s Department brought in a truckload of sandbags that are already pre-filled. We have them on standby in case it gets worse,” Fire Chief Scott Yahle said.

Although there isn’t even a puddle left in town, firefighters and emergency crews are busy preparing for another possible storm Monday night.

We’ll have live reports from Black Creek tonight on Action 2 News.

Clean-up Kits Being Distributed;Damage Assessment Continues

Lindsay Geffers, a U.S. Bank volunteer via the Ready When the Time Comes program reviews Clean-up kit materials.

Oshkosh, WI…(July 15, 2010) Flood, fire and wind created a whirlwind of activity for local American Red Cross Chapters. Throughout most of Northeast Wisconsin, trained volunteers have been activated to support local relief efforts and to provide immediate emergency needs.

Several Damage Assessment Teams have been going door-to-door in affected neighborhoods. They discuss the storm damage with home owners and/or renters and provide guidance, literature, offer a clean-up kit as well as comfort and hope. 

In addition, U.S.Bank, our “Ready When the Time Comes” partnership was activated. The program consists of trained bank employees who are released from normal work-day activities to support local disaster relief efforts. Lindsay Geffers, the US Bank facilitator received the call early this morning and leapt into action. They provided several volunteers who had been given disaster assessment information previously. They attended the morning briefing, received maps, clean-up kits and more and were then dispatched along with a more experienced Red Cross staff member or volunteer to comb affected neighborhoods, she  “I never realized how important it was to let the community know they have support and assistance if they need it. It’s amazing to see how people can persevere through disasters – especially those that have flooded before.”

Additional clean-up kits with basic cleaning supplies are available at Red Cross offices and via mobile units. If people are in need of assistance, they are encouraged to call their local Red Cross.

All disaster assistance is free as a gift to the American people, from the American people. To financially support local disaster relief efforts, please call 1-800-RED-CROSS or by visiting www.redcross.org.

About:The Northeast Wisconsin American Red Cross is a regional grouping of five chapters serving 20 counties with a mission to prevent, prepare for and respond to disasters throughout the East Central Wisconsin, Fond du Lac County, Lakeland, Outagamie and Scenic Shores Chapters. To learn more about Red Cross programs, volunteer opportunities, and how you can help, contact the Northeast region at 920-231-3590 or visit www.NewRedCross.org

 

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation’s blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization — not a government agency — and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission.

WLUK Fox 11 – Live Shots: Water still high in Oshkosh

CLICK HERE FOR VIDEO OF STORY!

OSHKOSH – The storms that rolled through yesterday and overnight in Northeast Wisconsin dropped about 4″ of rain in Oshkosh.

FOX 11’s Angela Kelly spent Thursday morning in Oshkosh where many areas are still flooded.

Sawyer Creek in Oshkosh is swollen this morning, due to the heavy rain.

The creek has now overflowed into parts of the Westhaven neighborhood, including a large area behind Mercy Medical Center.

Gary Troxell, an employee at Mercy Medical Center walks to work everyday, and was surprised by what he saw Thursday morning.

“I was expecting the creek to be swollen, but not this bad,” said Troxell.

Parts of Westhaven Golf Course are also under water due to the swollen creek.

________________________________

The American Red Cross plans to send teams out this morning to do damage assessments across Winnebago County.

Crews will also be delivering clean-up kits to residents throughout the county who need them.

Nick Cluppert, Emergency Services Manager for the Red Cross in Oshkosh, says most affected residents have flooding and or water damage in their basements, but there are some reports of trees that have fallen on homes.

There are several streets under water in Oshkosh as well, many of which experienced flooding in 2008.

Cluppert says those streets include 9th, 20th, Ohio, Clay and Jackson.

Damage appears to be mostly basement flooding.

_________________________________
 

Steve Hansen, the Northeast Wisconsin Regional Chapter Executive for the American Red Cross was in Oshkosh Thursday morning as well.

“I don’t think there is any area of Northeast Wisconsin that wasn’t affected by this storm,” said Hansen.

Hansen says they could hand out 300-500 clean-up kits to residents throughout the region. The kits include brooms, a squeegee, bleach, bags and other supplies.

Call your local Red Cross chapter if you are in need of one.

Red Cross Teams on Stand-by Ready for Fires, Floods and Winds

Oshkosh, WI…(July 14, 2010) Across the 22-county Northeast Wisconsin Region of the American Red Cross, disaster action teams have been activated and several more are on stand-by. Evening storms have created a series of actions from responding to a local fire, placing a shelter on stand-by and teams are being readied for action once the storms pass.

Earlier this evening, more than 70 fire-fighters, and first responders, were given hydration and nutrition at a Fish Creek home which was engulfed in flames after being struck by lightning. Keeping the first responders bodies cool, under such immense heat was the goal as they fought the blaze. The family was also assisted with emergency basic needs.

With the heavy rains, trained disaster action team members were in a ready position to support local flood relief efforts. This included having the Oshkosh Convention Center on stand-by as an emergency overnight shelter. Emergency Response Vehicles and trained volunteers were also ready to respond. Nick Cluppert, with the East Central WI Chapter, was also in the Winnebago County Emergency Operations Center.

Early tomorrow morning, Disaster Assessment Teams will gather before heading into damaged areas. This is the first step for client assistance. Clean-up kits with basic cleaning supplies will also be available at Red Cross offices and via mobile units. If people are in need of assistance, they are encouraged to call their local Red Cross.

All disaster assistance is free as a gift to the American people, from the American people. To financially support local disaster relief efforts, please call 1-800-RED-CROSS or by visiting www.redcross.org.

About: The Northeast Wisconsin American Red Cross is a regional grouping of six chapters serving 22 counties with a mission to prevent, prepare for and respond to disasters throughout the East Central Wisconsin, Fond du Lac County, Lakeland, Outagamie and Scenic Shores Chapters. To learn more about Red Cross programs, volunteer opportunities, and how you can help, contact the Northeast region at 920-231-3590 or visit www.NewRedCross.org

 The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation’s blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization — not a government agency — and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission.

My 3rd Trip to Haiti: by Gail McGovern, American Red Cross

To view the 6-month progress report click HERE!

Recently, I made my 3rd trip to Haiti and it was a a very productive trip. The purpose of the trip was to continue the strong efforts we’re all making to be sure all the Red Cross societies are coordinated in our relief efforts. I was joined by the head of the Canadian Red Cross as well as the head of the International Federation of the Red Cross/Red Crescent Societies. We also had the opportunity to visit with Madame Gedeon who is the head of the Haitian Red Cross and I had the privilege of meeting with President Preval, the President of Haiti.

We talked about our relief efforts in terms of how we’re going to move from relief into recovery, ensuring that our efforts would be in sync. We talked to the President about land availability which is a very complicated issue. We are building transitional shelters to help people get out of the tented communities and into more permanent shelters, and we’re working with the government of Haiti to do so.

As we drove from location to location and spoke to different people I noticed the spirit in the street was higher than my other 2 visits. People were engaged in commerce. We passed a big farmer’s market with a tremendous amount of activity – buying and selling produce. The brightest sign I saw was wherever we went you saw children in uniform. They are clearly back in school. It’s such a healthy sign to see these children back in school. There was a spirit of resiliency in the air.

Pioneer Credit Union Recognized by Red Cross

(L-R) Michelle Kozak of Pioneer Credit Union with Mauree Childress, Director of Development, American Red Cross Lakeland Chapter

Pioneer Credit Union has been recognized as one of the Heroes for the American Red Cross for its efforts in helping earthquake victims in Haiti.

This past February, Pioneer raised more than $13,000 for the American Red Cross to support relief efforts in Haiti after the devastating January earthquake.  Pioneer coordinated a fundraising effort at all of its branch locations which collected more than $8,000. In addition to the fundraiser, Pioneer matched $5,000 in donations, making the grand total more than $13,000.

 “We are very proud and thankful that Pioneer’s members and employees came forward during this campaign to help the people of Haiti,” said Tom Young, Pioneer Credit Union President. “Thanks also to the Red Cross for all the good it does in the community and for taking the time to recognize the effort that gets put forth to helping those in need.”

As of April 7, 2010, 50% of the funds raised for Haiti earthquake response were spent on emergency relief such as food and relief supplies, 39% on shelter; 5% on livelihoods, 5% on water and sanitation and 1% on health.

“The Red Cross is truly grateful for Pioneer’s dedication to support and goodwill,” said Mauree Childress, director of development for the American Red Cross Lakeland Chapter. “The support of businesses like Pioneer, make a real difference in our communities and beyond.”

 To learn more visit www.pioneercu.org.

Pioneer Credit Union is a not-for-profit financial cooperative that offers a complete line of financial services.  Owned by the people who do business there, Pioneer serves nine counties in Wisconsin: Brown, Door, Kewaunee, Shawano, Manitowoc, Oconto, Outagamie, Marinette and Calumet.  Pioneer has more than 50,000 members and has grown to more than $420 million in assets. To learn more visit: www.pioneercu.org.