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Agencies gather to provide resources to flood victims

Local residents were given resources and supplies Monday to help clean up from last month’s flooding.

A multi-agency resource center, coordinated by the American Red Cross, included booths from volunteer agencies such as Lutheran Social Services, Catholic Charities, Adventist Community Services, Semcac and Freeborn County Public Health.

Albert Lea resident Suzanne Flatten, who attended the event, said her basement flooded, resulting in damage to her furnace, hot water heater, washer, dryer and dehumidifier.

She said she received cleaning tips at the resource center.

Albert Lea resident Katie Koziolek, left, and Adventist Community Services volunteers Andrew Thompson and Jan Flowers talk Monday at the multi-resource agency center at United Methodist Church. — Sam Wilmes/Albert Lea Tribune

Albert Lea resident Katie Koziolek, left, and Adventist Community Services volunteers Andrew Thompson and Jan Flowers talk Monday at the multi-resource agency center at United Methodist Church. — Sam Wilmes/Albert Lea Tribune

“It’s nice to be able to talk to several people who have different ideas on how to take care of your damages and how to handle it financially to get through it,” she said.

Nearly 300 properties in Freeborn County have reported flooding damage, said Freeborn County Emergency Management Director Rich Hall.

Federal and state emergency management officials will survey damage later this week in Freeborn County.

Albert Lea resident Steven O. Hamberg said he was at the resource center for resources on a damaged furnace.

Hamberg said his sump pump has stopped working, causing extensive flooding and mold in his basement.

Event coordinator Kris Ihrke of the American Red Cross said she enjoyed providing the service.

“At the end of the day, it just feels nice to know that we have helped provide services for people in need, and I have done this a long time and that never gets old,” she said.

Ihrke said the event is the essence of the Red Cross’ mission.

“It is still the good stuff,” she said. “It is still kind of our proud moment when we can bring our volunteers together to help, because that is what they are trained for.”

Cleaning supplies were available at the resource center Monday at United Methodist Church in Albert Lea. — Sam Wilmes/Albert Lea Tribune

Cleaning supplies were available at the resource center Monday at United Methodist Church in Albert Lea. — Sam Wilmes/Albert Lea Tribune

About Sam Wilmes

Sam Wilmes covers crime, courts and government for the Albert Lea Tribune.

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