East Texans heading to Colorado to help flood victims - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

East Texans heading to Colorado to help flood victims


More than 1,200 people are still unaccounted for in Colorado tonight where flooding has devastated portions of the state. Two East Texas women are on a flight to Denver right now. They are heading out to help as members of The Smith County Red Cross.

While residents evacuate the flooded streets of Colorado, Cheryl Thomas and Christy Stennis-Ball, are diving in.

"Tomorrow morning we hit the road running," Stennis-Ball said.

That's nothing new for these two veterans. "Yeah, we've been doing this a long, long time," she said.

Christy recently celebrated 50 years with The Red Cross and Cheryl has been volunteering for decades, too.

"The disasters may change, the locations may change, but the basic work is the same; it's to alleviate the suffering," Stennis-Ball said.

When the water drains away, and the city looks clear, Tammy Prater with The American Red Cross, says people may forget, "but the families there are going to be struggling for a long time."

That's why Cheryl and Christy have one-way tickets. On this trip they will be traveling together, as they have done many times in the past.

"We have been together and we have been separate," Thomas said. "Odds are when we get there we'll both go different directions," Stennis-Ball added.

Cheryl will help in shelters, while Christy will help with organization.

They've been to almost every major US disaster over the past decade.

They joke the reason for their continued commitment to aiding in disasters is that the "paycheck is beyond belief."

Though, they joke, there is a reason these two keep showing up when needed most.

"As long as there's people in need, we'll be there," Thomas said.

Cheryl and Christie will stay in Colorado for a minimum of two weeks, but say they are happy to stay longer, as they are needed.

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