News / Publications » Publications

A Flood of Relief

AFSCME members performed heroically this winter and spring as the Ohio and Red rivers overflowed their banks and devastated surrounding communities.

By

THE MIDWEST

AFSCME members performed heroically this winter and spring as the Ohio and Red rivers overflowed their banks and devastated surrounding communities.

In Grand Forks, N.D., police officers, transportation workers and city employees represented by AFSCME worked 12-hour emergency shifts in April, despite the fact that they, too, were driven from their homes by the flooding. As we go to press, many members of Locals 148, 3814 and 7778 were awaiting the restoration of clean drinking water in order to return to their homes. Over 60,000 residents were evacuated from the city.

Members in the Minnesota towns of Moorhead, Breckenridge, Ada, Granite Ridge, Montevideo and East Grand Forks (Councils 6, 14, and 65) were also affected by the Red River flood.

AFSCME International is providing a $25,000 donation to the AFSCME Flood Relief Fund to help victims in North Dakota and Minnesota. Donations may be sent to the fund c/o AFSCME Council 6, attention Jeanne Rossman, 300 Hardman Ave. South, South St. Paul, Minn. 55075.

Earlier, when the Ohio River overflowed after heavy March rains, AFSCME members responded on the job and off, upriver and down. The Ohio floods killed at least five people and caused an estimated $180 million in damage.

Ohio Civil Service Employees Association (OCSEA)/AFSCME Local 11 members in the Department of Transportation spent 12- to 16-hour days keeping roads clear, while their union brothers and sisters in corrections guarded prisoner work groups helping with the cleanup. Meanwhile, workers at the Environmental Protection Agency and the fire marshal’s office monitored and cleaned up hazardous spills.

Members of Local 3093 (Council 8) in Adams County, outside Cincinnati, spent their after-work hours unloading the trucks that were arriving with donations — after spending 12-hour workdays processing assistance vouchers to get help to their neighbors as soon as possible. One of the trucks they unloaded was sent by the members of AFSCME Local 240 (Council 8) and Retiree Subchapter 107 (Chapter 1184), whose respective members helped collect clothing, cleaning supplies and $2,500 in donations from the Cincinnati community.

Down the river, Kentucky Council 988 members had their hands full. Local 2629 in Jefferson County volunteered at the Red Cross and the phone banks to help their neighbors in need, while their union brothers and sisters held back the waters with sandbags and floodwalls. Members of Local 1586 in Paducah, Local 237 in Covington, Local 286 in Fort Thomas and Local 3447 in Louis-ville were all on the job.