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As flood waters rise, so do offers of help.

Calls from cities anxious to assist flood victims are pouring in at NLC's Washington, D.C. headquarters, and state municipal leagues are keeping Nation's Cities Weekly well supplied with names of communities in need.

Still, these waterlogged communities along the swollen rivers are facing up to the tedious tasks of rebuilding--and simply surviving--against forecasts of more rain and awareness of limited already strained public resources.

Mayor Bill Evers, of Bradenton, Fla., who presides over the Florida League of Municipalities, launched a statewide campaign last week asking Florida communities to help raise money and provide assistance to cities devastated by the continuous flooding. Evers was the catalyst for the combined NLC-State Municipal League effort to coordinate flood relief by listing cities and towns and specific needs. (See Nation's Cities Weekly, July 26, 1993.)

Last week Nation's Cities Weekly ran its first state-by-state list of communities in need, along with phone numbers, and whenever available, contact people and specific needs. This week we continue with more names on page four.

To list additional cities and for more information call Leslie Wollack at (202) 626-3020 or Denise Baker at (202) 626-3048.

NLC is encouraging cities that want to provide financial assistance. contact their local Red Cross or Salvation Army. Checks can be made payable to those offices and funds usually can be earmarked for general flood relief efforts or for a particular community and a particular need. Cities can also adopt a city or town in need and contact that community directly to offer specific help.

Adopt-A-City Approach to Helping

The adopt-a-city approach also builds a relationship with another city that can last beyond the flood recovery.

Allentown, Pa. Mayor Joseph S. Daddona announced plans for the city to raise $30,000 to provide cleanup kits for Iowa City, Iowa. Allentown will solicit donations from its citizens and hold various fundraisers to reach its goal.

Alexander City, Ala. plans to adopt a city or town with a similar population and form a bridge from the south to the midwest. Alexander City citizens plan to raise money and make financial donations directly to their adopted community.

Fair Lawn, N.J. has volunteers on standby to travel and provide flood assistance and found a similar namesake in Fair Hill, Mo. to adopt.

Florida cities, being directly familiar with rebuilding from natural disasters after hurricane Andrew, are organizing major relief efforts. Communities are raising dollars as well as planning to send volunteer skilled public works employees to flood-torn communities with utility vehicles and equipment in an effort to help bring sewage, water and electrical systems back on-line. As stated by Mayor Evers the reality of trying to rebuild after the waters have finally dissipated will mean tough times ahead for cities and towns small and large.

"Following the receding of the flood waters, the capacity of these governments will again be tested. Having first responded to the safety and welfare of their citizens, they will now be called upon to remove the debris, re-establish order and revamp their utility services," said Mayor Evers.

"Those of us who have experienced similar catastrophic events know that employees are exhausted, equipment is worn out, and budgets are meaningless when revenues stop and expenditures accelerate," Mayor Evers continued.

Big businesses and local companies are responding to help flood-stricken communities as well. Kansas City, Mo. has received from the Kansas City-based Commerce Bancshares pledges totalling $500,000; from New York Life Insurance for $ 1 00,000; and First National Bank is offering low interest loans, deferring credit payments and extended grace periods for insurance coverage. Hallmark Cards has donated paper plates, cups, napkins and children's toys. Sprint is providing 10,000 coupons for free long distance calls, and Southwestern Bell Telephone is providing free phone banks at local shelters.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has several brochures and flyers available providing information for flood victim especially farmers.

* Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) Emergency Center 1-800-462-9029

* Food Safety and Inspection Service Meat & poultry Hotline 1-800-535-4555
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Title Annotation:includes related information on communities needing assistance
Author:Baker, Denise
Publication:Nation's Cities Weekly
Date:Aug 9, 1993
Words:664
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