The Last Emergency Shelter Closes

Oct 3, 2016

Cedar Rapids moves into the cleanup phase of flood recovery.
Credit Dean Borg, Iowa Public Radio

The Iowa chapter of the American Red Cross closed the last of its emergency shelters in Cedar Rapids Monday.

A spokeswoman for the relief agency says that doesn’t mean its work is done in helping flood victims. Regional communications officer Kara Kelly says the tasks ahead mostly involve cleanup.

She says the Red Cross also helps people fill out the forms they need to draw state and federal assistance.

“It can be a little daunting the amount of paperwork and other things you have to go through," Kelly says. "So, we try to make that process as simple as possible for people.”

Kelly says the Red Cross has licensed mental health care workers available to help people get through the recovery.

“This type of disaster is incredibly stressful," she says. "For some of these folks, this is the second time they’ve gone through this. Their homes may have seen considerable damage in 2008.”            

The agency reports it provided nearly 700 overnight stays for flood victims since opening the shelters in Eastern and Northern Iowa September 22.

Kelly says the Red Cross is making such things as bleach, shovels, rakes and gloves available to residents recovering from flood damage.