Red Cross Flood Response Could Top $800,000 in Southern Minnesota

October 4, 2010

The American Red Cross is now providing financial assistance to families affected by the floodssouthern Minnesota.Along with other disaster relief, such as meals, snacks, and mental health services, the Red Cross expects to spend between $610,000 and $891,000 to help people rebuild their lives following this disaster.

"From what I’ve seen, people are devastated but determined,” says Gordon Haubenschild, a Red Cross volunteer who’s been delivering meals in Millville and Hammond. I think it helps them to know they don't have to face this alone. They greet us with open arms and hugs, but at the same time, theywant to help uscarry in the food, so I think that’s a positive sign."

Currently, the Red Cross is serving more than 1,000 meals a day and will be providing hundreds more to affected families and those helping them clean up following this devastating disaster.

To date, nearly 200 Red Cross volunteers and paid staff have responded to this disaster, serving more than 10,000meals and snacks, distributing more than 1,936clean-up kits and  offering emotional support to affected families.

“The Red Cross was the first ones here to help us,” says David Hobbs, a flood victim in Millville, Minnesota. “I don’t know what we would have done without them. They didn’t forget us.” 

Homes and communities in at least 17 counties have been damaged by this flood, with the heaviest damage reported in the cities of Hammond, New Richland, Pine Island, Oronoco, Owatonna, and Zumbro Falls. Preliminary damage estimates are that more than 4,784 dwellings are affected across the region. Of those, at least 59 were destroyed, rendering them permanently uninhabitable and more than 235 suffered major damage, meaning that extensive repairs are needed to make the home habitable.

“During the coming days, Red Cross volunteers will be in the affected communities, meeting with families to determine what assistance they might need to rebuild their lives,” says Melanie Tschida, Executive Director of the Southeast Minnesota Chapter of the American Red Cross. “Some people will be starting from scratch. We’ll do what we can to be there for them.”

If you are in need of Red Cross services, please contact your local chapter. Local chapter information is available at 1-800-RED CROSS or

To make a financial donation to the Red Cross to help families affected by this disaster, and others in the United States and around the world, people can click, call or text—visit, call 1-800-RED CROSS, or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Contributions can also be sent to local Red Cross chapters or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC, 20013.

Donations of goods and services from individuals and community groups, though well intentioned, have hidden costs and pose a number of complications for relief efforts. For these reasons, the Red Cross is not able to accept any collections of items, such as used clothing, hygiene items, furniture, toys, and canned goods.  If you represent a company wishing to offer supplies in bulk, please call our donation hotline (612) 460-3700.

About the American Red Cross

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and counsels victims of disasters; provides nearly half of the nation's blood supply; teaches lifesaving skills; 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 humanitarian mission. For more information, please visit or join our blog at