PHOENIX — Over a dozen members from the Red Cross’ Arizona chapter are on their way to help victims of flooding in Louisiana.
A volunteer from New Mexico will join them. The Red Cross said six of the volunteers will be driving emergency response vehicles, while the other five will set up shelters or help with nursing needs.
Doug Patriquin, one of the 16 Arizona volunteers, has responded to flood disasters before.
“East Texas once and then Houston, for the flooding,” he said. “This is much larger than anything I’ve been on yet.”
At least six people have been killed and more than 20,000 have had to be rescued since Friday in some of the worst flooding the state has ever seen. More than two feet of rain fell in just two days in some southern Louisiana towns.
“It was an absolute act of God. We’re talking about places that have literally never flooded before,” said Anthony “Ace” Cox, who started a Facebook group to help collect information about where people were stranded. He was in Baton Rouge to help his parents and grandparents, who got flooded out.
“Everybody got caught off guard,” he said.
The Red Cross is sending 500 volunteers from across the country to help the victims of the floods. Patriquin said the work will take a toll on workers as they pour into the area.
“There is certainly a lot of emotional toll on it, especially if they’ve been in an area that’s been flooded before,” he said.
KTAR’s Jim Cross and the Associated Press contributed to this report.