American Red Cross opens shelter in Pocahontas

By Lauren Payne - bio | email feedback

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT)  Empty cots and blankets wait for those forced from their homes due to dangerously high floodwaters.

"I wasn't going to come.   I was going to ride the storm out," said Lee Kaczmarski.

Lee Kaczmarski decided to join his family at the shelter, arriving there with a heavy heart, fearful of what the future could bring.

"Totally getting flooded out and losing everything I got,' said Kaczmarski.

Like many in this situation, they left with the clothes on their backs, and what they had time to pack into bags.

"I brought my Bible because that's the way we live by," said Kaczmarski.

"My whole life is in that house, my pictures and everything," said Nova Haynes.

Nova Haynes says she didn't want to leave, but was afraid of what could happen if she stayed.  The choice to leave, she says, wasn't easy.

At the Pocahontas Community Center, Pam Knapp-Carver says the American Red Cross will be here as long as it's needed.

"We're anticipating many homes being evacuated and we must be there for our communities," said Carver.

The Northeast Arkansas Chapter of the American Red Cross is assisting numerous counties in relief efforts from this storm and recent storms.  At this shelter alone, Carver says they could have in excess of 100 people.

"We want everyone to know that the Red Cross is here and they have somewhere to go if they need to get out of their homes," said Carver.

Kaczmarski says he'll spend his time at the shelter reading his Bible, finding hope despite desperate times.

"We're just going to take it by faith and let God take care of the situation and I believe everything is going to be alright," said Kaczmarski.

Carver says if you do have to go to a shelter, if possible, bring a change of clothes, toiletries, and medications you are taking.  Not only does the American Red Cross have a shelter in Pocahontas, it's also supporting other shelters in other areas like Corning and Walnut Ridge by helping to provide food, toiletries, and other resources.

You can make a donation to the Northeast Arkansas Chapter of the American Red Cross by stopping by 305 West Jefferson in Jonesboro.  You can also log onto or

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