tropical storm cristobal

Local Red Cross Volunteers Respond In The Wake of Cristobal

Tropical Storm Cristobal made landfall along the southeast Louisiana coast Sunday and the storm is still wreaking havoc throughout the southeast.

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We're only eight days into the Atlantic Hurricane Season and it's off to a very active start. Cristobal has already made the record books as the earliest third named storm of a season and it could continue to make history as it tracks north.

The remnants of Tropical Storm Cristobal are moving away from the Gulf coast after bringing flooding rain and strong wind to parts of the southeast. In Long Beach, Mississippi heavy rain inundated portions of a highway.

As the storm continues to weaken, it will take the road less traveled. Cristobal could be only the fourth Atlantic tropical cyclone remnants to move over Wisconsin and if it remains a tropical depression when it moves into Wisconsin, it would be the first tropical depression on record in the state.

And from preparation to clean up, COVID-19 is proving to be an added challenge to what is forecast to be an above average hurricane season. Our local Connecticut Red Cross volunteers deployed to Houston over the weekend in preparation for Cristobal’s landfall and are currently assessing the damage in Louisiana and moving volunteers and supplies to the hardest hit areas as need be. But the pandemic has forced the Red Cross to get creative with their response efforts.

"The most important thing that we think about is we need to get our clients what they need, when they need it and where they need it,” explained Eric Oubre from the Connecticut chapter of the Red Cross.  “In this COVID environment is an individual is...we're not going to open congregate shelters if we absolutely don't have to and what that means is individuals might be in a hotel."

Despite the challenges of COVID-19, the Red Cross is still prepared to provide whatever services are needed in the wake of Cristobal, but there will be one thing missing.

"It's different because we can't give that hug,” said Oubre.  “You know we want to take care of people in a time of tragedy we just want to reach out and give that hug and we just can't."

But as many of us have learned during these difficult times, technology can make a big difference.

"If that means Facetiming with our clients from in their hotel room we're making sure that we're staying connected."

For more information on you can support the Red Cross from home, just www.redcross.org.

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