LA FERIA — A shelter created at the La Feria Community Safe Room continues to see the arrival of displaced families since the floods of June 24.
According to Alma Martinez-Botello from the La Feria Chamber of Commerce and Ekland Durousseau from the American Red Cross of Texas Gulf Coast Region, numerous people are still struggling to get back to their homes and have not been able to restore what the storm has ruined.
According to Martinez, as many as 69 people have been at the shelter, but the number continues to fluctuate.
However, Martinez said the support from the community continues to be present.
“Many businesses have been very helpful and have donated cleaning supplies for those that need to get the water out,” Martinez said.
“H-E-B donated about 1,000 buckets and it has been tremendous to see how they have supported these people. We are hoping to receive funding from FEMA and continue to receive help from church alliance groups and spread awareness through the Rio Grande Valley Flood Assistance group on Facebook,” she said.
Durousseau, the Communications Manager at the American Red Cross, said neighborhood cleanup efforts have also been organized.
“We work in partnership with our government agency partners and first responders to try to help the community as much as possible,” Durousseau said.
With many streets still flooded, it’s difficult for residents in need of help to get to the shelter.
“We are trying to create a distribution point where people can come and pick up supplies. We try to ensure that our locations can cover different areas from people all around, but it has been hard with the barricades and people have to find an alternate route,” Durousseau said.
Medical assistance is also provided at the shelters as well as mental health screenings.
“We have psychologists for people who might want to talk to them. I mean, you can take an emotional toll so we have professional mental health workers you can talk to, or depending on someone’s faith we have spiritual groups where they can share their feelings. We try to make sure that we are comforting people,” Durousseau said, explaining volunteers have also been delivering supplies.
Durousseau said volunteers are still needed at the shelters.
“In whichever way people can help it will be huge,” she said. “They can donate their time and volunteer personally or financially as well.”
For more information, go to redcross.org or text 90999
La Feria Dome – 1001 Pancho Maples, La Feria
Willacy County Community Safe Room- 10804 Business 77 Raymondville
Mercedes Safe dome/ Recreation Center- 1202 North Vermont, Mercedes
American Red Cross (956) 423-0523