American Red Cross-Savannah helping flood victims in Montgomery Co.

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - While American Red Cross leaders in Chatham County say they've had a high number of calls to assist victims of fires this year, they are now heading west to help those affected by flooding along the Oconee River in Montgomery County.

Shelter specialists have set up a receiving center for displaced families at Montgomery County High School.

"River's been flooding, really flooding for several days now. They have severe flooding, ongoing in that area," said Sam Watkins, American Red Cross of Southeast and Coastal Georgia.

With a mandatory evacuation along parts of the Oconee River in place, families temporarily displaced will need a place to go. And that's where the Savannah Chapter of the American Red Cross of Southeast and Coastal Georgia is stepping in to help.

"We're carrying five people from Savannah, all who are experienced in shelter operation, to open a residential shelter," said Watkins.

That shelter, at Montgomery County High School, will cater to anywhere from 10 to 20 families.
Watkins hopes they will be able to close it down Tuesday, but adds only time will tell.

"We have no idea. We will be there until the need is fulfilled," said Watkins.

Because situations involving natural disasters differ from community to community, Watkins says if you want to help out, sometimes the best way is by offering a monetary donation.

"The Red Cross, we have discovered that the best way to help, honestly is with funds. That lets us easily and efficiently get resources to people in need, and the resources those people need," said Watkins.

And before heading out Monday morning, those Red Cross crews said they have an idea of about how many families they'll be helping.

"We understand there are 10 to 20 families affected at this point. But of course that number can change by the minute," said Watkins.

About a dozen Red Cross volunteers from the Savannah office are in Montgomery County.

This is the time of year for end of year donations that come with a tax credit, so if you are interested in helping the Red Cross, click here.

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