Cooper, Red Cross ask for continued help

Tuesday, May 4, 2010 at 12:38pm

U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper urged Nashvillians to help their fellow citizens while heeding officials’ warnings and pleas in the wake of the weekend's flooding. 

Speaking to the media from the Nashville Area American Red Cross Chapter on Charlotte Avenue, Cooper said he was amazed at the damage he witnessed from a helicopter tour with Gov. Phil Bredesen, calling it the “worst disaster that Nashville has faced in many, many years.”

“There’s going to be a lot of cleanup, a lot of hardship, and Nashville, thank goodness, has always been a very generous community," he said. 

Cooper urged those who could to “write big checks” and do what they can to help their neighbors.

“Try to make a donation if you can to a group like the Red Cross, who can really help out folks. They’re professionals. … They know what they’re doing,” Cooper said.

“A few years ago Nashville was voted the ‘Friendliest City in America.’ Now’s the chance to prove it.”

Cooper urged Nashvillians to heed official warnings and pleas, such as only using half of the water as in the past.

“I barely took a shower this morning,” Cooper said. “I took what’s called a ‘Navy shower,’ where you get a little bit of water, you turn off the water, soap up and then rinse off as fast as you can.”

Also, “you don’t have to flush the toilet as often as you have in the past,” he said.

Joel Sullivan, president of the Nashville Red Cross chapter, updated the media on ongoing rescue efforts in the region. According to Sullivan:

• about 1,000 people were sheltered across Tennessee Monday, that dropped to 600 Monday night

• the Red Cross was operating 21 shelters statewide, four in Davidson County

• the organization had served 2,200 meals

• Twenty emergency response vehicles in Tennessee and 12 in Middle Tennessee are ready to support feeding efforts and distribution of cleanup kits once the waters subside.