Local volunteer heads to Kentucky to help with flood relief efforts

Published: Aug. 1, 2022 at 5:30 PM CDT
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HAZARD, KY. (CBS 3 Duluth) -- In Kentucky, the death toll is rising as disastrous flooding continues throughout the state.

35 people are now confirmed dead, and already, volunteers are coming from near and far to help pick up the pieces.

Governor Andy Beshear says with heavy rain in the forecast, it’s likely the death toll will keep rising.

Volunteers like Duluthian David Gearou have traveled to Kentucky to help with everything from healthcare to providing meals.

Gearou has volunteered with the Red Cross for over 12 years and has gone on more than 50 volunteer deployments.

In Kentucky, he’ll be leading a team providing food service in disaster relief areas.

Gearou and his team will be picking up food from kitchens set up in the town of Hazard, where they’ve seen some of the worst flooding.

The team will be using emergency response vehicles to then drive meals to places in need.

He says volunteer efforts in situations like these are greatly needed, and greatly appreciated by the impacted communities.

“The population is kind of sparse, but there’s enough of them and they see all these people from all over the United States coming down to help them,” Gearou said, “And it makes them feel good that people are not forgetting them, there are people coming from all over to help them.”

The Red Cross said they’ve sent more than 250 trained volunteers to Kentucky, providing shelter, meals, emotional support and more.

They’ll also help replace critical medical equipment like canes and wheelchairs, which are often left behind in the rush to get to safety.

Gearou encourages anyone willing and able to volunteer in emergency management to do so.

He said you can volunteer through the Red Cross, local churches, and other humanitarian organizations.

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