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Red Cross is ready for flood evacuations


The Western New York Chapter of the American Red Cross has been hard at work this week after many residents were left stranded and in need of assistance. WBFO’s Avery Schneider tells us more about what the agency has been up to…

A relatively major disaster relief operation has been running since Tuesday, with shelters open at various locations across Western New York. Many of those locations housed stranded travelers, more recently residents whose roofs collapsed. Now the agency is preparing to continue the operation with flooding on the horizon.

“We’ve been in contact with potential shelter locations to be ready to have additional folks come, and have a need for that,” said Bonafede.

That’s Jay Bonafede, Chief Communications Officer for the Western New York Region of the American Red Cross. He says the agency is now operating only one shelter, but additional locations are on standby in preparation for possible flooding evacuations. Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Sunday morning that SUNY schools were put on standby as possible shelter locations as well.

“That’s going to be kind of a backup location should the shelter locations that we have on standby as the Red Cross reach capacity,” Bonefede said.

Bonafede says the agency is trying to get some large capacity shelters prepared. However, locations are not yet being announced so that residents don’t accidentally go before the sites are ready.