Red Cross offering help to West Pike Run flood victims

August 29, 2013
West Pike Run Township heavy equipment was used to clear debris from South California Drive after heavy rain and flooding Aug. 23. - Jim McNutt / Observer-Reporter Order a Print

The American Red Cross of Southwestern Pennsylvania is offering help to the numerous West Pike Run residents affected by last week’s flash flooding.

A dozen Red Cross volunteers spent Thursday at West Pike Run’s municipal building and planned to return Friday to continue helping residents.

Anyone affected by the heavy rain and flooding on Aug. 23 can meet individually with a Red Cross volunteer today from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. to discuss options for assistance or to receive clean-up kits.

The National Weather Service in Pittsburgh recorded about 3 inches of rain in nearly four hours in pockets between Bentleyville, California and Richeyville. The heavy rain caused Pike Run to rise six feet above its banks, and much of the runoff in the township found its way into low-lying Daisytown.

Immediately after the storm, this region’s Red Cross assisted 15 households by offering food, water, clothing, shoes, storage containers and shelter. The organization has also provided 50 flood clean-up kits, officials said.

Red Cross spokeswoman Lauren Ashley said they helped an additional six households at the township building by Thursday afternoon and expected to assist more people later that night. Township officials were working feverishly during the day to make phone calls to get the word out while also posting information on various social media outlets.

Betsy Myers, the Red Cross disaster response specialist supervising the volunteers at the township building, said they are expecting to help as many as 40 households affected by the flooding. She said the long hours Thursday and Friday are designed to be flexible for families who must pick up their children at school or adults who work daylight shifts.

“Some people were away on vacation, so we’re trying to help them, as well,” Myers said. “We’re even offering emotional support for families, if needed. We’re just here for the care and handling of families in the aftermath of the flooding.”

She was expecting as many as 14 volunteers to help Friday. Officials said the Red Cross also can offer volunteers to help clean the storm damage or direct homeowners to other support organizations.

The township municipal building is at 238 Pike Run near Daisytown and will be open for West Pike Run Township residents and other people affected in neighboring areas.

Anyone who cannot make it to the municipal building Friday may request help by calling the local American Red Cross chapter at 412-263-3100.

Mike Jones has been a news reporter since 2005, covering crime, state and municipal government, education and energy. In addition to working at the Observer-Reporter, he also has spent time at the Charleston (W.Va.) Daily Mail and He holds a journalism degree from West Virginia University.

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