Friday, February 12, 2016

Miranda Woodard, left, and Joey Schendel help salvage and clean property in an area inundated after days of flooding, in Hygiene, Colo., Monday Sept. 16, 2013. Colorado mountain towns cut off for days by massive flooding slowly reopened Monday, to reveal cabins toppled, homes ripped from their foundations and everything covered in a thick layer of muck. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley) (AP)
Local Red Cross chapter deploys couple in RV to Denver

Posted on Sept. 16, 2013 at 1:00 a.m. | Updated on Sept. 16, 2013 at 4:32 p.m.

ELKHART — A husband and wife who travel from coast to coast in a recreational vehicle have been deployed to Denver, where they will join other American Red Cross volunteers in areas hit hard by torrential rains and massive floods.

Dick and Karen Green were already in Colorado Springs, Colo., about an hour south of Denver, when they were deployed Saturday, Sept. 14. The couple was trained to respond to emergencies by the Elkhart County Red Cross chapter as part of an independent RV team of volunteers called Disaster Operations Volunteer Escapees, or D.O.V.E.

“The disaster RVers are a small but powerful and dedicated group,” said Kimberly Stout, Red Cross emergency services director in Elkhart, LaGrange and Kosciusko counties.

The Greens are scheduled to stay in Denver for a 10-day deployment. Karen Green, a nurse, will likely spend most of her time working in a Red Cross shelter for residents who have escaped flooded areas, and Dick Green, an information technology specialist, will set up a network at the Red Cross headquarters for employees and volunteers.

Stout spoke to the Greens briefly after they checked in and registered in Denver.

“Saturday is the first day when volunteers got there and got set up, so I’m not surprised that I haven’t heard much from them since then because it’s always hectic and chaotic, and there is always a fair amount of confusion at first,” Stout said, adding that she expects to hear from Dick and Karen Green again later this week.

Stout said while it is possible more volunteers from Elkhart County will need to be deployed to Denver, she is waiting for direction from the Red Cross. Deadly floods in Colorado have destroyed hundreds of homes, and more than 1,000 people are unaccounted for.