Here's How To Help Flood Victims In The Midwest, So You Can Do Your Part
Parts of the Midwest are really going through it. First, a bomb cyclone thrashed much of the middle of the country, bringing strong winds, heavy rain, and blinding snow. Then that resulted in massive flooding — and it isn't over just yet. While communities grapple with the disasters, here's how to help flood victims in the Midwest, because times are tough.
If you've missed it, the flooding occurred after downpours of rain and snow swelled rivers in the Midwest region and compromised around 200 levies in Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri ,and Kansas, per USA Today. It's been so bad that in Missouri, the outlet reports, at least three levies have been covered by water and in parts of Iowa, only the top halves of homes and stores are visible. The flooding has reportedly resulted in the deaths of at least three people, thousands of evacuations, and millions of dollars of damage.
And there could be more to come, as rivers in at least 40 locations, including Nebraska and Illinois, have risen to historic levels. The National Weather Service reports that portions of the central plains and upper Midwest should be on standby for more flooding throughout the remainder of the week of March 17. "The enormous volume of water ... is currently compromising the majority of the federal levee systems along the Missouri River from the confluence of the Platte River to Rulo, Nebraska," the Army Corps of Engineers added in a March 17 statement.
As residents try to recover from the latest disaster while preparing for another, officials have asked the public to share a helping hand. Check out these few things you can do, because the time to stick together is now.
Donate To The Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation Disaster Relief Fund
Many farmers in the area had already been grappling with dwindling incomes and bankruptcies, thanks to falling agricultural product prices and rising interest rates, according to The New York Times. Now, their crops and livestock may be ruined in the floods, while the roads they use to get food and supplies are wrecked. This is where the the Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation Disaster Relief Fund comes in. The campaign is raising money to provide emergency aid to farmers, ranchers and rural communities. "Priority will be given to efforts to restore health and safety in rural communities and to farm and ranch households that have been damaged or displaced by the natural disaster," a statement on its website reads.
This link will take you to a donation page or (maybe for those who aren't comfortable sharing their credit card information) you can send a check to this address:
Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation
Attn: Disaster Relief Fund
P.O. Box 80299
Lincoln, NE 68501-0299
Help Fight Red River Flooding
If you're in North Dakota (or a surrounding area), Fargo Mayor Tim Mahoney asked that residents help fill one million sandbags to fight off Red River flooding, per CBS News. The Associated Press reported on March 18 that the river has a 90 percent chance of reaching major flood stage in the days to come, putting the city at risk. “While we have made tremendous strides in our permanent flood protection efforts, this is a very serious flood forecast and we will meet it with a serious response. It is critically important for everyone to know that we will need the public’s assistance; we cannot be complacent," he said in a press release shared with local news outlet KVLY-TV.
So, ready to get started? You can get more information on this here.
Help Out The American Red Cross
If you'd like a more flexible option, this might be the one for you, as the Red Cross is suggesting multiple ways to help out. You can either donate blood or make a monetary donation. It's worth pointing out that there's a $10 minimum for donations, but they are tax deductible. And you can share as much as you want.
United Way Needs Some Help, Too
Fundraising organization United Way of the Midlands has set up the Nebraska & Iowa Flood Relief Fund for those who lost homes and suffered other losses from the flooding. According to the Omaha World-Herald, any and all money donated will go to nonprofit programs that provide shelter, food and other services in the area. If you're ready, you can get the ball rolling through this link, or text FLOODRELIEF to 41444.
As you go through the donation process, remember that no donation is too big or too small. Anything helps, after all.