Day 2: Capital Area Red Cross Volunteers Help Out Small Town
Electricity is unreliable in the rural community, making wells and furnace blowers difficult to use. The result has left some people without water and heat for two days. Winter storms froze this small town of about 400 people, in a place where the firefighters know you by name.
"In a rural community everybody jumps together. The fire department and citizens cut, literally cut, their way out of town to try and get food, water, whatever they need," said First Responder John Barton.
Barton and his wife Carmen are Bunker First Responders. They're trying to keep neighbors supplied with basic resources.
"We could not get fuel, they could not use the cash registers, or anything so, we really couldn't get much at the store. And because we are a small town, there is a limited supply of everything. If we needed anything, we have go 30 miles away, if you could get there," said Carmen Barton.
On Saturday this town called for help from Jefferson City. The Capital Area Red Cross brought 450 cold families hot meals and clean water.
"And she contacted them and they jumped right in that they'd come, they said if that will help out," Barton said.
Peggy Claver felt the crush of the storm when ice-covered trees fell onto her daughter's trailer and cut the power.
"I didn't even have no water, all my food got ruined, my refrigerator, it all got ruined," she said.
The Red Cross volunteers from Jefferson City are happy to give their time to help out those in need.
"People in rural Missouri are just as needy as someone in St. Louis who doesn't have power and actually someone in St. Louis who doesn't have power are probably better off," added Melissa Friel of American Red Cross.
The volunteer fire department helped distribute those meals to some who aren't able to make it out of the house and to the center of town. Utility crews are working around town to get reliable power back to the residents. The Red Cross will continue to help, they plan to bring three to 500 heater meals, similar to meals ready to eat (MRE), in Bunker, on Sunday.
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