August 27, 2007

Help needed for flood relief

Minn. Disaster Relief needs volunteers to head to southeastern Minn.

By Kristen Miller
Staff Writer

Al Nagel of Dassel and director of the Minnesota Disaster Relief, is looking for volunteers to help with the clean-up efforts for Minnesota residents devastated by the recent flooding in southeastern Minnesota.

Areas affected by the flooding includes St. Charles, located 20 miles west of Winona, which was hit with 17 inches of rain Aug. 18 and 19.

“This will be a pretty big project,” Nagel said, explaining the damage to the homes similar to those hit by Hurricane Katrina.

After Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast region in 2005, Nagel gathered volunteers to go down and help with the clean-up there.

“Although not the same magnitude, I don’t think it will be a whole lot different,” he said.

Similar to residents in the Gulf Coast Region, many people in southeastern Minnesota did not have flood insurance. This will make it difficult for residents to pay for repairs of their homes, calling for the need of in-kind labor.

Nagel is hoping to rally the troops of volunteers to help those affected by the recent flooding.

“There is going to be a lot of need down there, just like in Mississippi,” Nagel said.

Weekend trips will soon be planned, a date has not yet been set since much of the area is still flooded, as of last week.

Nagel is advising anyone interested in volunteering with the clean-up effort to be on a notification list. When a date and time is set, those on the list will be notified.

Donations and supplies will also be needed to assist in clean-up and rebuilding. Heavy equipment such as Bobcats (skid steer loaders) owners, operators will also be needed.

E-mail Nagel at al_mnba@hotmail.com or call him at (320) 296-1521.

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