The American Red Cross said yesterday that it has depleted its national disaster relief fund and is taking out loans to pay for shelters, food and other relief services across seven Midwestern states battered by floods.
Officials at the charity estimated that efforts in the Midwest will cost more than $15 million and warned that the total could surpass $40 million if the Mississippi River creates floods in St. Louis later this week.
On the cusp of hurricane season, Red Cross executives said the charity has raised just $3.2 million for the Midwest floods and painted a dire picture of its overall disaster relief finances. They said many donors are giving less because of rising gasoline and food prices and the collapse of the housing market. Also, the absence of a major U.S. catastrophe since Hurricane Katrina in 2005 has made it difficult to galvanize donors.
"The disaster relief fund today is completely depleted. The balance is zero," Jeffrey Towers, chief development officer, said in a conference call with reporters.
I haven't been able to monitor the news but I think I saw that at least one levee on the Mississippi as failed and that more are expected to. This is looking more and more lie Katrina 2 and where is the purported leader? This is really going to be ugly and a lot of Americans are going to suffer even more hardship because of our failed leadership.