Red Cross packs up

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 29, 2004

The American Red Cross pulled up its tent stakes and packed up its Emergency Respond Vehicles (ERV) Monday and headed south.

Red Cross volunteers along with members of the Southern Baptist Association began camping out at South Luverne Baptist Church last Thursday waiting to assist Crenshaw County natives in need following Hurricane Ivan.

Their helped was never needed.

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"This kitchen was designed to fix meals here and then they were going to take the Red Cross ERV's and take them out, but the Red Cross never had them cook a meal while they were here," Jody Bentley, Director of Missions for the Baptist Churches in Crenshaw County, said. "They actually got them here to late."

Red Cross Disaster Coordinator Richard Gonzalez from the Southwestern Illinois chapter agrees with Bentley.

"I think the problem was we probably got called in too late," Gonzalez said. "If we would have been here earlier we could have helped."

Although the Red Cross was unable to assist any local residents, Bentley said just having them in the area was a godsend.

"They were a tremendous blessing to us," Bentley said. "I wish we would have had them four or five days earlier. They could have ministered here, but they were late getting here."

The relief kitchen was able to provide some meals for ERV drivers passing through on their way to Florida.