Red Cross Shelters Open In California As Thousands Evacuated Due To Compromised Dam

By Newsroom America Staff at 15 Feb 2017

(Newsroom America) -- An estimated 4,800 people in northern California are in 28 Red Cross and community shelters after being forced to leave their homes due to compromised Oroville Dam spillways which could potentially cause catastrophic flooding.

At least 188,000 people have been ordered to evacuate and officials report it could be up to two weeks before they can return home.

"We have four shelters open now where people can find a safe place to stay, get meals, health services and a shoulder to lean on," said Brad Kieserman, vice president, disaster operations and logistics for the Red Cross.

"More workers and relief supplies are arriving soon – cots, blankets, personal hygiene items, kitchen supplies – enough to support thousands of people. Many of these folks left their homes with very little and we are working to make them comfortable. Conditions remain uncertain with weather predictions calling for snow, winds and more rain, and we are continuing to monitor the situation very closely."

As of noon on Tuesday, four Red Cross shelters are open, while the majority of the other shelters are being managed by other organizations, separate from the Red Cross. With each day, the Red Cross will work with its partners and community organizations to come together to support those evacuated.

The Red Cross is also working with partners to provide an array of services, including pet care and in-kind donations from the community. Services are available for people with access and functional needs.

There are 130 Red Cross workers on the ground currently, with more on the way in the coming days. Ten Red Cross emergency response vehicles are on the scene supporting feeding operations. The Red Cross and its partners provided 3,600 meals on Monday, and later this week will be prepared to feed as many as 15,000 people a day.

If someone needs to find a shelter, they can visit redcross.org or contact their local Red Cross Chapter.

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