Red Cross Executive Director from Findlay headed to Baton Rouge

Red Cross Executive Director from Findlay headed to Baton Rouge
(Source: WTOL)
(Source: WTOL)

(WTOL) - President Obama has issued a disaster declaration for parts of Louisiana. It's being called by some officials the five hundred year flood with the death toll now at six.

Disaster relief personnel are making their way to the Gulf Coast city of Baton Rouge including from right here in the Toledo area.

Todd James is the Executive Director of North Central Chapter of the Ohio Red Cross.

"Honestly it's probably the biggest natural disaster the Red Cross has ever seen since Super Storm Sandy," said James.

He will be serving as the Public Affairs Manager while in the Baton Rouge/Lafayette area.

"Right now we've got more than 40 thousand meals being distributed across the state," said James. "We've got 60 of our emergency response vehicles rolling in. You'll have over 1,000 Red Cross volunteers on the ground in the next few days. There are tractor trailers full of shelter supplies coming in."

He says this mission won't be like any other.

"There have already been over 20,000 water rescues and right now they are estimating about 10 thousand homes damaged," said James.

WTOL's sister station, WAFB in Baton Rouge has been covering the natural disaster around the clock.

The Red Cross said that even though this disaster is far from home here in Toledo, there are ways we can support those in need at their darkest hour.

"It could well cost us $10 million just from the Red Cross alone," said James. "The number one way folks can support us is by making a financial contribution. That's how we do what we do."

James said he'll likely be in Baton Rouge for a few weeks.

But as for the Red Cross, "We'll be there for a very long time," he said. "The local Red Cross, once everybody gets to a point where there folks can go back home, they're still going to be there in the community making sure that everybody who needs help has got it."

If you would like to volunteer with the Red Cross, donate money or shelter items, click here.

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