Local Red Cross chapters deploy volunteers to North Dakota - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Local Red Cross chapters deploy volunteers to North Dakota

SPOKANE, Wash. - As flood waters rise, the American Red Cross continues to recruit more volunteers to assist with sheltering and mental health needs in North Dakota. American Red Cross Chapters from throughout eastern Washington are currently answering that call by coordinating volunteers who will be deploying to assist with disaster relief efforts.

Carol Wickwire, a volunteer from the Kittitas County Chapter headquartered in Ellensburg, left for Fargo on March 24 to assist in mass care shelters. A retired school teacher, this is her first deployment for the American Red Cross. To date, Carol has assisted with the set-up of three Red Cross shelters; one in Minnesota and two in North Dakota.

Dr. Tom Kearney will be flying from Spokane to Fargo on Saturday, March 28 at 7 a.m. to assist with the special mental health concerns related to a large-scale disaster. Dr. Kearney has been with the Inland Northwest Chapter in 2005 and this will be his fourth national deployment.

Red River sets new record level in Fargo  

The flooding has started in parts of Fargo, North Dakota where an army of volunteers have been in battle against
The raging Red River all week.

After two days, the snow has finally stopped, but the water has not.

The river is already higher than it's ever been and still rising.

"People are getting concerned. The water levels are coming up quick," says Cass County Sheriff Paul Laney.

The crest won't come until Saturday, and it could be as high as 43 feet.

There are already clear signs of how powerful and devastating these waters can be.

In many areas, airboats are the only way out.

Rescue teams have pulled close to 2,000 to safety as the flood waters begin to swallow their communities.

Sheriff Laney says "we're getting everyone out," but the difficult work is taking its toll on the emergency responders.

"They're out on the water 8, 9, 10 hours a shot, and it really starts to wear on them," according to the Sheriff.

This crisis is wearing on just about everyone.

Sandbag lines continue around the clock.

Front-loaders move dirt and clay to try and block the flow, but time is running out.

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