Red Cross volunteers quick to help in Baxter Springs

Published On: Apr 28 2014 04:49:59 PM CDT   Updated On: Apr 28 2014 07:12:03 PM CDT

Local American Red Cross Volunteers didn't waste any time getting to the disaster zone in Baxter Springs. The Midway Kansas Branch sent a team of five volunteers to the area last night to begin setting up an emergency shelter.

Eyewitness News partnered with the Red Cross to set up a donation phone bank at our station, raising $3000 to go to relief efforts in Baxter Springs.

Our local  Red Cross team joined 30 other volunteers in the area and more are on their way.

Their primary job has been to manage and run the emergency shelter as well as assess the damage from the tornado.

So far, that has been difficult because of so many downed power lines in the area. Volunteers says there are 100 homes that were affected plus another 20 businesses.

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After a conference call with the field team this morning, Red Cross decided to send another two or three volunteers to Baxter Springs to help with the efforts.

One disaster specialist already serving in the area said that although the community is in shambles, the response has been great.

"They're a very resilient community. I've been involved in a lot of disasters and the emergency management, the police department, the sheriff's department, have done a spectacular job," Aaron Phillips, disaster specialist in Baxter Springs said.

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Volunteers will remain in the affected area for as long as needed, and could end up sending more once the damage assessment is complete.