Non-profits Struggle to Sustain Flood Relief in Northern Wisconsin

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It’s been nearly a month since heavy rains flooded northern Wisconsin and the Duluth area. Shelters, food shelves, and flood relief are still in high demand.

Non-profit organizations are trying to help clean up what June floods ruined. Gail Trombley, of Catholic Charities in Superior, says cleanup was not an option for one of her 75 clients: “I had a disabled veteran. His leg had been amputated. He was in a wheelchair. He had rented an apartment. He paid his rent and stocked it with food. When the flood hit he lost everything: clothes and everything. His apartment was uninhabitable.”

Duluth Red Cross Executive Judy Hanne-Gonzalez says they are providing what they can for those who need a place to stay, as well as ways to help those keep their homes clean. “What we provide primarily is emergency shelter, [as well as] food, clothing… we also provided several thousand clean-up kits for people to clean up their homes after that.”

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Superior’s Faith United Methodist Church Rev. Barbara Certa-Werner says they are having trouble making enough flood buckets, which include towels, clothesline, and cleaning supplies. “The demand for the flood buckets was really, really high. People are still calling us for flood buckets and we are out.”

For those who need financial help, the “Long Term Flood Recovery Fund” has been established by the United Way. M&I Branch Manager Eric Siljendahl says there is about $11,000 in the fund right now. “Once the initial phases of the cleanup are underway and/or done, basically requests are going to be made to the United Way of Superior Douglas County.”

People looking for financial relief due to flooding will need to apply at United Way once the funds become available.

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