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Red Cross Volunteer: Quad Cities "Are Very Resilient"

John Peters
A damaged tree on the campus of Augustana College, Rock Island, IL

It's been two weeks since hurricane-force winds swept through the region, destroying crops and taking out power lines. But even after power was restored, not every problem was solved when the lights came back on. 

Pat D'Alessandro is a volunteer with the Red Cross. She says the greatest need in the Quad Cities is food. 

"You might be able to save things in your freezer for a day or two as long as you don't open it up. Your refrigerator isn't good after about four hours. And a lot of people were without power for much longer than that." 

She says the last power outage in the winter wasn't as severe, since people could put their food outside to keep it cold, but as temperatures rise, it gets harder to preserve food. And as unemployment rises, it gets harder to replace it. 

D'Alessandro says she's most worried about the mental and emotional fallout from overlapping disasters. 

"A lot of people are very resilient. 'There's a problem, I'm going to fix it, I'm going to take care of it right now,' and once they get to the other side of this, it's going to hit them: now what do I do? I've managed to get this far, but I can't get any further. So, I think the long term is just the stress of the combination of the pandemic, possible loss of jobs... food shortage, and just: what do I do next?"

Those who want to help and those who need it are encouraged to call 1-800-Red-Cross. 

EDIT: An earlier version of this story reported there were 900 homes businesses in the Quad Cities still without power. That number came from a fallen tree branch that affected MidAmerican Energy customers in Rock Island on Aug. 24 at 12:54 p.m. All of those outages were resolved by 2:42 p.m. that day. 

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