On this day in 2007, water was beginning to recede in Miami. Residents awoke on July 4 to the news that the flood waters had crested at midnight. Stepping in to help residents with assistance was the American Red Cross.
The American Red Cross spent more than $1 million to help the residents of Ottawa County deal with the immediate affects of the 2007 flood.
It was the first time Tammie Lewis, Red Cross service center director for Craig, Delaware and Ottawa Counties, had to deal with a flood.
“We've had a major disaster almost every six months in this area,” she said. “We train all year in disaster training, but floods are a little different.”
The Red Cross began its involvement in the flood by sending Lewis to the Emergency Operations Center in Miami.
“Every bit of information was sent through me to the emergency services director in Tulsa,” she said. “The first day was spent listening and preparing.”
The next day eight emergency response vehicles were in Miami eventually transporting accessment teams who were inspecting the safety of the community.
The Red Cross helped 576 client cases during the flood, presented them with $462,727 worth of debit cards.
That amount is included in the $1,187,670 that was spent in Ottawa County during the flood.
More than 400 volunteers helped the Red Cross during the flood with 100 of them coming from Ottawa County itself.
The Red Cross was set up for six weeks in Miami with shelters at
First Christian Church and First Baptist Church. Mount Olive Lutheran Church and First Assembly of God were on standby.
They brought in 1,000 cots that were used 558 times during the six weeks the shelters were open.
During that time, 17,388 meals and 33,955 snacks were served at the shelters and from the vans.
The food was prepared by an emergency crew with the Southern Baptist Church that is under contract with the Red Cross.
Volunteers presented those in need with 1,906 clean kits with items specifically designed to clean after a flood such as shovels, rakes, gloves bleach, etc., and instructions for their use.
They also presented 955 comfort kits full of personal items like shampoo and soap.
The Red Cross also gave 2,158 mental health sessions to city employees and staff as well as those had lost their homes.
“The Red Cross has been helping with disasters for 125 years,” Lewis said. “Guidelines for operations are in place … We're able to be ready for disasters because of the donations we've already received.”