Deadly flash flood hits Mexico

The death toll from Monday's flash flooding grew to 36 as the border town of Piedras Negras, Mexico, continued cleaning up.

BY HEATHER MOYER | SAN ANTONIO, Texas | April 5, 2004



"The medical team really needs baby formula, diapers, pediatric medicines, first-aid supplies, syringes, food, and so much more."

—Yolanda Cox


The death toll from Monday's flash flooding grew to 36 as the border town of Piedras Negras, Mexico, continued cleaning up on Friday. Some 19 people are still missing.

Heavy rains pushed the Escondido River out of its banks, catching most of the town by surprise. The Mexican government reported over 300 homes completey destroyed. Local Piedras Negras officials are calling the flooding some of the worst in U.S.-Mexico border region in history.

Mexican President Vicente Fox declared the town home to 200,000 people a disaster area. Piedras Negras is just across the border from Eagle Pass, Tex. The city's governor said they're busy repairing local railways, a collapsed bridge, and reconnecting home electric and gas lines.

Help is coming from parts of Texas and the United States. A team of workers from Georgia called "Hands & Feet in Georgia" was already in Piedras Negras helping build an orphanage. When the floods hit, they quickly changed their focus from construction to rescue.

Yolanda Cox is co-director of The Cross Health Ministries in San Antonio, Texas. She and her husband are helping the Hands & Feet team from Georgia get the supplies the devastated town of Piedras Negras desperately needs.

Shelters are set up in several city buildings and officials says over 1,000 people are being fed daily. Cox said the shelter that the Georgia volunteers set up also has a medical team that's working very hard to meet everyone's needs.

"The medical team really needs baby formula, diapers, pediatric medicines, first-aid supplies, syringes, food, and so much more," said Cox.

The team sent up a trailer to Cox in San Antonio so that any donated items can be loaded and brought down. Cox headed down to Piedras Negras Thursday with that trailer loaded up with over 1,000 pounds of food, boxes of clothing, and first-aid supplies.

"I've been putting out SOS calls to all my contacts here," she said. "I've got some local pediatricians who are gathering the pediatric meds for me to take." Cox said a pharmacist in Georgia is sending a trailer full of both adult and pediatric medicines down to her later this weekend.

Church World Service (CWS) Disaster Resource and Recover Liaison (DRRL) Heriberto Martinex said CWS is preparing over 3,000 comfort kits to send down to the region. "I've been monitoring the situation and making local contacts for assistance," said Martinez, who said Cox contacted him for help. "(Cox) also said people down there will need baby kits and health kits, blankets, and clothes."

Cox added that another valued donation would be someone with emergency food distribution experience. "I've being told that the community down there has been great with bringing in food for the survivors but the team said it's very hard getting it to the right people," she said.

Piedras Negras is about 150 miles southwest of San Antonio.


Related Topics:

Solutions for flood insurance

How US flood insurance works

Volunteers build a Christmas present


More links on Flooding

Advertisers:

DNN Sponsors include:

Advertisements: