We agree with Pawpaw: Storms Affect Families

Ed “Pawpaw” Semmes and granddaughter Corrie Lee, in Picayune, Mississippi, after Hurricane Isaac. Photo & story credit: Lynette Nyman/American Red Cross

Disaster responders from our Northern Minnesota Red Cross region are home from Hurricane Isaac. Everyone returned safe, exhausted, and rewarded with the gift of helping people during a time of need.

People like Edward “Pawpaw” Semmes, 62, and his granddaughter Corrie Lee, 5. Ed’s family received food and a clean-up kit from the Red Cross once it was safe to return to his neighborhood in Picayune, Mississippi. With his household contents piled high on the lawn, Semmes recalled that they had about five minutes to escape because the water came from “the north, the south, the east, and the west. It came from all four directions.” Inside the house, his son-in-law pulled up ruined flooring. Ed easily kicked in sodden sheetrock. “We understand what others went through because we went through it.”  Only in recent days did he break down and cry. Before he was too stressed about taking care of his family, something he’s always done with great pride, but he was concerned for them, their lost belongings, and the uncertainty of where they’d live. Thankful for Red Cross assistance, Ed (or Pawpaw), said “storms affect families–that’s what it gets down to.”

Red Cross Rick and Karen Campion were among the volunteers who responded to Hurricane Isaac. Image provided courtesy of the Campions.

The Red Cross recognizes this truth. We are grateful to everyone within our Northern Minnesota Region who helped–and continue to help–families along the Gulf Coast. A special thanks to local volunteers who worked on this disaster relief response: Mark, Margaret, Marie, Catherine, Mark, Diane, Marty, Dave, Hildred, Judy, Dick, Amanda, Karen, Rick, Harriet, John, Gordie, David, Claudia, Greta, Steve, Richard, Kris, Susan, Debbie, Eric, Brent and Marian.

Click here and learn more about the Red Cross response to Isaac or about how to get involved with the Red Cross.

Story by Lynette Nyman/American Red Cross


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