Findlay, OH: Loading food aboard Red Cross vehicle

September 4, 2007

Findley, OH: Loading food aboard Red Cross vehicle at Souther Baptist kitchen

A Red Cross Emergency Response Vehicle is loaded with food, water, and supplies at the Southern Baptist kitchen prior to delivering hot meals to flood-impacted neighborhoods.

Photo credit:  Allen Crabtree, American Red Cross

Findley, OH

August 31, 2007


Findlay, OH: Thank you Red Cross

September 4, 2007

Findlay, OH: Thank you Red Cross

This sign, posted on the side of a condemned home in Findley, expresses the sentiments of many impacted by the floods in North Central Ohio.  Shown here are the Red Cross volunteer crew of ERV 2165, (l-r) Joseph Molnar, Sue Richardson, and Julie Bauer.

Photo credit:  Allen Crabtree, American Red Cross

Findley, OH

August 31, 2007


Findlay, OH: Thank you American Red Cross

September 4, 2007

Allen Crabtree

Southern Maine Chapter, Portland ME

Public Affairs Volunteer

Cell (207) 653-9271

 “Thank you American Red Cross for all that you are doing!” 

Friday, August 31, 2007FINDLAY, OH – The residents of the flood-devastated Brookside Drive neighborhood lay down their shovels and wheelbarrows when they hear the air horn on Red Cross Emergency Response Vehicle (ERV) #2155 coming down their street.  They walk out to the curb to meet the ERV and its crew, whom they are getting to know as old friends.  The Red Cross is here with a hot meal, some cold water, and encouraging words for them as they face the daunting task of digging out and cleaning up from the floods. 

“The Red Cross has just been wonderful for us,” said homeowner Faye Lane.  “We hear you coming along the street and we know it is time to take a break and eat. The first time my neighbors and I up and down the street heard the ERV air horn we didn’t know what it was, but now it is as familiar and welcome as a dinner bell.”

She continued: “There is so much to do to clean up.  I can’t tell you how helpful all the Red Cross support has been to help up get back on our feet.”

Lane said that the 28 years she and her family have lived on Brookside Drive these were the second floods they have experienced here, but that the 2007 floods came on particularly fast.  By 3:00 p.m. on Tuesday the water was waste deep in their basement, and by the time the fire department came in a boat to evacuate her husband and son at 9:15 p.m. the water had filled their basement and was coming into the first floor of the house.

The Lanes, with help from their family and neighbors have now cleaned everything out of the basement and ripped out drywall and insulation.   All that was damaged by flood waters on the first floor and in the garage has also been removed, “but we have two stories and weren’t as badly hit as some of our neighbors who have only a ranch.”

All dozen of the crew working on the cleanup have had their tetanus shots, and the Lane’s have been visited by a Red Cross case worker doing outreach.  One of their neighbors whose lawn mower was not damaged by the flooding has mowed all their lawns, just to help out.

The Lane’s are one of the more fortunate families in the flooded neighborhoods in Findlay.  Not too far away, James Bowling has lost everything.  He is a renter at East Main Cross Street and lost everything when the water rose to five feet deep in his apartment.  The building has been condemned as unsafe and the landlord has said that he is not going to repair it.  The building will likely be torn down.  Members of the Calvary Baptist Church have come to help Bowling remove flood damaged furniture and clothes from the apartment and to salvage what personal effects that they could.  Bowling has found another place to stay temporarily.

Despite this tragedy, he still is thankful for all the help that the American Red Cross has provided to him and the community since the floods.  He told Red Cross volunteer Joseph Molnar driving ERV #2165 that he had lived all of his live in Findlay and Toledo, and couldn’t say enough about the Red Cross. Bowling drew a large sign and posted it on the side of his building that said “Thank you American Red Cross for all that you are doing.”


Flood Damaged Debris in Ottowa, Ohio

August 31, 2007

Flood Debris in Ohio

The huge mountain of flood-damaged debris piled outside Jason Walls’ Ottawa home was typical as residents dig out from devastating floods.   

Photo credit:  Allen Crabtree, American Red Cross

Ottawa. OH

August 28, 2007


Red Cross aids Ohio residents cleaning up from floods

August 31, 2007

Flood Debris in Ohio 

 Tuesday, August 28, 2007 – OTTAWA, OH – When disaster strikes, the American Red Cross is there with emergency relief to help those in need get back on their feet. Some need a dry and safe shelter to stay at, while others need family and individual assistance or mental health counseling. In the case of Jason Walls, all he requested of the Red Cross was some hot meals.“I’ve got a crew here cleaning up my house on Maple Street,” called in Walls on the phone. “Do you have anything there that I could feed them, so we don’t lose any time cleaning up? I’ve got quite a mess here from the floods.”Walls offered to come to the American Red Cross kitchen at the Trinity United Methodist Church in Ottawa to pick up the food, but Red Cross volunteer Dale Logan and his partner offered to take a dozen hot meals to Walls’ house. Logan lives in Ottawa and knows the neighborhood where Walls lives. “They were hit pretty hard there when the Blanchard River overflowed,” he said. “Those houses on the end of Maple Street all back up on the river and had heavy flooding.”

A mountain of flood debris was piled at the end of Walls’ driveway and there were a dozen people in his back yard when Logan arrived with the hot meals. In addition to Walls and his wife there were two “mud out” teams. The U. S. Department of Agriculture had sent a Rural Development team from Findley and a Youth for Christ crew was there from Paulding. All of them had rubber boots or work boots and their clothes were spattered with mud and plaster from the dirty, hard work they had been doing all morning. The hot meals were very much appreciated.

While Walls devoured his hamburger he told how he had watched the waters from the river come closer and closer to his house in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

“At midnight the water was over the banks of the river and coming across my back yard,” he said. “At 2:00 a.m. it was up to our back porch, and at 6:00 a.m. it was in the house. When my wife and two kids and I left for higher ground the water was chest deep in our street.”

Walls got his family to safety and then came back to helped his neighbors evacuate. In all the flooding, no one was injured and none of his neighbors were left behind. Now, in his time of need others have come to help him recover.

“The Red Cross has been wonderful to us and everyone else here in Ottawa,” he added. “It is much more than just these hot meals you’ve brought over. The Red Cross are our neighbors and friends helping us, and we really appreciate the shelter and the kitchen and service center you’re running. Everything you’ve done for all of us here in Ohio is wonderful.”

The “mud out” team of volunteers finished their lunch and went right back to work in the 100-year old house. In only two days they had removed all the furniture, appliances, carpets and cabinets. There had been three feet of flood waters in the house for more than two days, so using sledge hammers and pry bars the team also removed all the dry wall and insulation from the walls of the house. Load after wheelbarrow load of sodden debris was hauled out to the curb where the mountain of trash grew to nearly the height of the house. All up and down Maple Street the same operation was underway.

Walls intends to renovate his home and will move back in, but he couldn’t have done it without help from his neighbors, community organizations, and the American Red Cross.

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Allen Crabtree is a volunteer from the Southern Maine Chapter of the American Red Cross and lives in Sebago, Maine where he is a writer, antiquarian book dealer, blueberry farmer, Chair of the town Board of Selectman, and volunteer fire fighter.


Fast Facts for Ohio Relief Operation

August 30, 2007

Fast Facts Header

Statistics as of August 30, 2007, 11:00 a.m.

Shelters/Evacuation Centers: Total, 4, Last night, 2

Shelter residents: Total, 821, Last night, 41

Meals served, 8,953

Snacks served, 19,695


Fast Facts for Ohio

August 28, 2007

Fast Facts Header

Statistics as of August 28, 2007, 11:00 a.m.

Shelters/Evacuation Centers, 4

Shelter residents, 738

Meals served, 5,092 

Snacks served, 8,248