Some Craig County Storm Victims Struggle To Find Help
CRAIG COUNTY, Oklahoma - Some Craig County families say they're being left to fend for themselves after last week's storm.
The National Weather Service now says it was an EF-2 tornado with winds as high as 120 miles an hour that hit near the town of Welch.
The American Red Cross was in Craig County shortly after the storms ended on Tuesday.
While some residents say they've been given the cold shoulder, the Red Cross says it has a specific mission to help families recover from a natural disaster.
Dorothy Riley's home was right in the middle of it. Shortly after the storm cleared, volunteers from the American Red Cross came out to survey the damage but they were not able to help because her home had only flooded by three feet.
"So far, we haven't had any help at all," Riley said. "We've had a lot of onlookers."
Donita Quesnel with the Red Cross says their first goal is to make sure the resident's basic needs are addressed.
"The Red Cross is an immediate response, immediate needs organization," Quesnel said. "We help with a change of clothing if that's been destroyed in the disaster and make sure they have something to eat."
She says the national organization for the Red Cross has set guidelines to determine who gets what kind of help after a flood, which includes a three foot limit.
If a home has been flooded by three feet or less the Red Cross will not help with long term recovery, if it's more than three feet, the organization will work with the homeowner to clean the property.
Quesnel says even if the Red Cross isn't able to help someone with long term recovery, they'll still provide them with cleaning supplies and point them in the direction of other agencies that might be able to help.
Quesnel says the tally is still being counted, but so far, the Red Cross has provided more than $1500 to people in the storm ravaged areas.
She admits it's difficult for some people to be turned away but the Red Cross must follow protocol.
"The Red Cross does what it can," Quesnel said. "I think it's never a bad time to review our policies and review our guidelines. This might be an especially good time to take a look and see what we are able to do locally."
The Red Cross contacted Dorthy Riley late Wedensday and are helping her find a clean up service.
Quesnel encourages anyone who was a storm victim to contact the Red Cross and they should be able to find an organization that can help.
She also suggests calling 211; the agency can also help locate a group to help in recovery.