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Grandview man aids disaster relief

Larry Houser of Grandview left this week to help the Red Cross' disaster relief efforts in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

"This one is going to cost more than all four of last year's hurricanes combined," noted Elizabeth Carroll, Executive Director for the Red Cross Yakima chapter.

The cost is already high in hard hit areas such as New Orleans, where 80 percent of the city is covered by water. Costlier, still, is the toll in human life as 100 have perished in one Mississippi county alone.

Houser is traveling with a Red Cross emergency response vehicle, which will deliver feeding stations and clean-up supplies.

Carroll said Houser's unit is scheduled to arrive at a deployment center in Little Rock, Ark. From there he will be sent to one of four states drenched and damaged by Katrina - Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi or Alabama.

Red Cross emergency responders, such as Houser, will likely be in the field for a minimum of three weeks, according to Carroll.

Though only one Lower Valley resident to date has been sent in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, more may be heading to the Gulf of Mexico.

Carroll said the Red Cross is soliciting both blood and financial donations to aid its response.

For more information on how to assist the relief effort call 1-800-HELP-NOW or, for Spanish language, call 1-800-257-7575.

To donate blood call 1-800-GIVE-LIFE.

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