A wave of aid for flood victims in Whatcom County; Red Cross opens new shelter – KIRO 7 News Seattle


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WHATCOM COUNTY, Washington – Communities in Whatcom County are stepping up as much as they can to help flood affected victims.

“To see a community come together like this is an incredible thing,” said Jeffery Goins, a Sumas resident who is currently staying at North County Christ the King Church.

The church hall is stocked with food, donated clothes, and toiletries. The worship center is also teeming with makeshift beds and people displaced by historic flooding in Whatcom County.

“Very helpful. And I’m very grateful for this place,” said Jay-Cee Luna, who was evacuated with her boyfriend Jeffery and her children. They have all been at church since Tuesday night.

“We all want to stand together, support each other and be strong,” said Ramona Stumpf of North County Christ the King Church.

About 20 people were staying at the church on Thursday, with around 70 at its peak, Stumpf said. Another 40 to 50 people were staying at Sonlight Community Church in Lynden.

Melody Griffiths, another resident of Sumas, says she was in her room when the water started to rise quickly and poured into her room.

“Everything was just floating around,” Griffiths said. “We were just camped on my bed trying to be rescued. At that time, I kept calling 911 to rescue us please.

“We took two boats, a tractor and a van to get here,” Griffiths said.

To help relieve local churches, the American Red Cross is now in Lynden, opening another shelter space at the Mount Baker Rotary Building at the Lynden Fairgrounds.

“You’re out of breath, we’re here, we can help you,” said Rhonda Jack, a Red Cross volunteer. The new Red Cross shelter has a capacity of 50 people and accepts pets.

Flood victims say all of this support is helping to bring some peace in this time of chaos.

“If it hadn’t been for the communities of Lynden, Everson and Sumas who came together to save so many lives, I don’t know what – it could have been a lot worse,” Goins said.

The plan is for all church donations to be moved to a storage facility at the Lynden Exhibition Center on Friday, near the new Red Cross shelter at the Mount Baker Rotary Building.

It will function as a resource center where people can come and get what they need.

They are asking people to put donations on hold for a day, if possible until the resource center is set up, and will share an exact address for people to find or give help when they are ready.


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