By Mike Flanagan, Heart of Missouri Chapter
Early morning flash flooding on last Tuesday in Barbara Wall’s Waynesville Wagner Trailer Court neighborhood was not enough to convince her and her husband to leave their home and go to the American Red Cross shelter in St. Robert, but a good friend finally did.
“We were planning on staying the night – Tuesday night – at home, but the mayor (Waynesville Mayor Luge Hardman) said you all are going to the shelter,” Wall, who lives near Mitchell Creek, said Wednesday. “I’m really good friends with the mayor and she said she didn’t want to lose one of her best friends.”
After the mayor convinced Wall to leave the neighborhood, she, her husband, and her mother, who lives across the street, went to the shelter in the St. Robert Community Center. Wall’s son lives with her mother, but he went to stay with friends living on “high ground” in another part of town.
“They’ve been just fabulous people,” Wall said of the Red Cross volunteers who staffed the shelter, which shut down Sunday afternoon. “They’ve constantly asked how we’re doing and if we need anything.
“There was food out the ying-yang. I have to drink diet drinks because I’m a diabetic and they went out and got diet soda for me.”
Wall said the overnight arrangements were fine for her, but because of medical conditions sleeping on the cots was difficult for her husband and mother.
Still, they managed.
“We had nowhere to go,” said Wall, who also made arrangement for the care of her family’s four dogs. “Everyone we know has animals and my mom is allergic to animals. I would not have left her. There was no way I would have left her by herself.”
Wall also praised the efforts Red Cross volunteers put forth to arrange a deluge of donations from Waynesville-area residents.
“We’ve had just an outpouring from the community,” Wall said. “They’ve brought in food. They brought in drinks. They brought in shoes, clothes, toys, household items, toilet paper, paper towels. There are medical supplies and laundry supplies. You name it, it’s here.
“These people have done a fabulous job of getting it all organized. If we’ve needed anything and it wasn’t here, they got it. They’ve just been fabulous here.”
You can help people affected by disasters like the recent floods, home fires, tornadoes and hurricanes, as well as countless crises at home and around the world, by making a donation to support American Red Cross Disaster Relief. Your gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for and provide shelter, food, emotional support and other assistance in response to disasters. Visit www.redcross.org, call 1-800-RED-CROSS or text the words REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Contributions may also be sent to the American Red Cross Heart of Missouri Chapter, 431 E. McCarty St., Jefferson City, MO 65101 or by calling 866-815-2739.