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Lake Oswego man among flood volunteers

Scott Fine joins others from the Northwest in responding to devastating flooding in Louisiana


SUBMITTED PHOTO - Officials have reported making more than 20,000 water rescues and estimate that more than 25,000 homes - at least 75,000 people - have been affected by this week's flooding in Louisiana.A retired firefighter from Lake Oswego is among 17 Red Cross volunteers from the Pacific Northwest who are either on the ground or heading to Louisiana to help with flood relief in the wake of the largest natural disaster to strike the U.S. since Superstorm Sandy.

Scott Fine told KOIN 6 News, The Review’s broadcast news partner, that he booked a one-way ticket to Baton Rouge to save lives and help locals work through the disaster, which has left at least eight people dead and forced thousands from their homes.

“Isn’t that what we do in America?” asked Fine, who has been volunteering with the Red Cross for just two months. “We go in and we help our fellow Americans. We don’t divide, we go in and we help.”

The Red Cross Cascades Region said Tuesday it had deployed 17 responders from all across Oregon and Southwest Washington to assist affected communities by managing shelters, providing emergency financial assistance, health and mental health services and transportation services. The volunteers will also help coordinate with local government entities to help deliver assistance.

The massive Red Cross relief operation is expected to cost at least $30 million, although that number could grow as responders learn more about the scope and magnitude of the devastation. On Monday night alone, more than 8,400 people sought refuge in at least 35 Red Cross and community shelters in Louisiana.

The Red Cross has mobilized over 60 disaster response vehicles, nearly 40,000 ready-to-eat meals and more than two dozen trailer loads of shelter and kitchen supplies that began arriving on Monday. Some of the supplies include water, personal hygiene items, insect repellant, cleaning kits, bleach and other important supplies.

Local officials have reported making more than 20,000 water rescues, and are estimating that more than 25,000 homes — at least 75,000 people — have been affected. It’s the second time in five months that Louisiana has seen more than 24 inches of rain during a single storm.

To donate to the Red Cross’ flood relief efforts, go to redcross.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS or text LAFLOODS to 90999.