MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Helicopters from the U.S. Army and Colorado and Wyoming National Guards took to the air Monday morning, September 16th fanning out across the region to rescue people stranded across hundreds of square miles of Colorado flooded when intense rainfall last week pushed streams out of their banks and sent walls of water crashing down mountain canyons. Meanwhile, more aid is headed to Colorado from Wisconsin, via the Red Cross.
Linda Arnold is the fourth Red Cross volunteer headed to Colorado from southeastern Wisconsin -- and this marks her 19th volunteer trip.
More than 4,500 square miles have been affected by the flooding and the National Guard has been called in.
"You see the devastation in the people and you try so much to help them. It's always a little emotionally difficult," Arnold said.
Arnold, a registered nurse, has dealt with floods before. On this trip, she will be in charge of a team of nurses.
Arnold expects to help with everything from bug bites, to those in need of medication, to those sick from contaminated wells.
"Those things get worse under stress and this is certainly extremely stressful for those affected," Arnold said.
Arnold has seen disaster by way of wind and water -- each different, but with victims all in need of the same support.
"I know that I have made a difference for somebody and that's the reason I go. If all I have, before I come home, is one person that gives me a hug and thanks me and tells me I've made a difference by being there, that's enough for me," Arnold said.
The Red Cross has 250 volunteers on the ground right now, and 20 shelters have opened up. Eight of the volunteers are from Wisconsin -- four from western Wisconsin, four from southeastern Wisconsin, three from the Milwaukee area, and one from Green Bay.