Local volunteers respond to nationwide disasters

By Bob Albrecht, Columbian Staff Reporter

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Nearly two dozen local volunteers have traveled to help victims of disasters in the middle and southern United States.

Some of the 23 local volunteers have returned, while others have gone, returned and gone again. Many are still in Alabama, North Dakota, Mississippi, Georgia, Arizona, Tennessee and Arkansas, according to a bulletin from the Southwest Washington chapter of the American Red Cross.

Many of the volunteers were away for up to three weeks. The breakdown: 16 volunteers are from Vancouver, four from Longview and one each from Brush Prairie, Woodland and White Salmon.

The disasters have included floods, tornadoes and wildfires.

In total, the Red Cross had 16 shelters open across the country as of Tuesday night, with nearly 800 residents, according to the bulletin.

The Red Cross expects to spend as much as $47 million responding to the disasters that have occurred since March 31.