Red Cross contributing to flood relief efforts

By Beau Ebenezer

April 18, 2013 Updated Apr 18, 2013 at 10:41 PM CDT

PEORIA Ill -- Governor Pat Quinn has declared a state of emergency in the wake of severe river and flash flooding throughout Illinois, and Red Cross is doing its best to keep everyone dry and safe.

Hundreds of volunteers from across the state have come together tonight to provide shelter for those who have been evacuated from their homes due to multiple floods.

Nine shelter areas have already been set up throughout the Central Illinois Region, as the Red Cross is continuing to send out trucks of supplies for those in need.

The headquarters for the relief operation in Illinois is centered in Peoria with dozens of volunteers ready to be dispatched as needed.

"It's probably going to be larger than most we have seen because we have never seen the rivers rise as fast as they are," said CEO of Red Cross in the Central Illinois Region, Anne Fox. "We have already had a couple of broken levies in the area, so we are prepared for a pretty massive flood."

"Right now our focus is making sure people have a safe and dry place to go," said Red Cross Disaster Officer, Megan Chamberlain. "Our focus is really trying to be reactive, and as the rivers crest and the water comes up, we're making sure that we get those open."

The Red Cross is asking for community assistance and donations for relief efforts.

To learn how you can help, you can visit redcross.org or call 1-800-redcross.

Officials said they will have shelters up and running in the coming days, with another wave of storms expected.