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Local Red Cross Sends Flood Relief to the Bootheel


Heavy rainfall amounts are leaving many parts of the Show-Me State under water. KSMU’s Chasity Mayes tell us how the Greater Chapter of the Ozarks Red Cross is lending a helping hand to southeast Missouri.

A mandatory evacuation along the Black River in Butler County, near Poplar Bluff, has turned the tides when it comes to flood relief efforts provided by southeast Missouri’s Red Cross.

“We’ve seen several families from that area come here to the shelter. Last night we had 25 people in the shelter. Our population is now over 110.”

That’s Cheryl Klueppel. She’s the Director of Public Affairs for the southeast Missouri chapter of the Red Cross.

The shelter is located at the Black River Coliseum in Poplar Bluff. Klueppel says getting into the shelter is as simple as packing a bag and showing up.

Klueppel says what you pack is extremely important.

“What we really are encouraging people is to plan and prepare. If they see that the flood waters might be in their area we want them to be prepared. So, a few things to think about to bring any personal items with them. We would encourage them to just pack a suitcase or pack a backpack for several days. We don’t know how long this might be going on. So, we want them to be prepared for several days,” says Klueppel.

Some important items to consider when packing include: a change of clothes, medication, glasses, and toys to keep the kids occupied.

Perry Elkins, a member of the Greater Chapter of the Ozarks Red Cross, is on his way to the disaster site in Butler County to provide supplies and man hours.

SEMO’s relief shelter is also providing a place for pets to stay.

Southeast Missouri isn’t the only area impacted by heavy rainfall. Over the weekend, the south central town of West Plains was severely hit by flash floods; water rushed over Highway 63 that bypasses the town, and several state highways were impassable.

Howell Creek, which runs through the town of West Plains, overflowed its banks, causing serious damage to area homes and businesses. And just southwest of the town, a farmer lost 50 head of cattle when the cows were swept away by the raging creek.

For more information on the relief efforts of the Red Cross, you can visit

For KSMU News, I’m Chasity Mayes.