MINNEAPOLIS — An estimated 55 people have died in the Maui wildfires and crews are still searching for the missing.
Many former Minnesotans call Maui home, and volunteers from the Minnesota and Dakota Red Cross are already on the scene.
“We are really in the first few days of what is going to be an incredibly long process,” explained Carrie Carlson-Guest, the Minnesota and Dakota Red Cross regional communications director. “They do everything from caring for people in shelters, they provide spiritual care, and some of them even do family reunification, which we know is needed. There are so many still missing.”
For Elizabeth Corradi, who moved to Maui from Bemidji just nine days ago, it was the most terrifying night of her life.
“I had to evacuate my house, so I can’t imagine how those people felt whose houses burned to the ground,” she said. Corradi has moved to each island, saying her fellow teachers’ and students’ homes are among those destroyed.
St. Louis Park native Patrick Laughlin said his friends and family in Maui are doing well, but the house he was renting was destroyed.
“There are a lot of people in Lahaina that I love and I know some of them are not going to be okay,” he said.
Corradi said the community has persevered despite the trauma of the past 48 hours.
“Keep Maui in your thoughts and prayers,” she said. “Everyone here is so amazing and I think people need to realize the devastation that’s going on.”
The Red Cross plans to send more volunteers in the coming days. If you have a missing loved one in Maui, you can call 1-800-RED-CROSS.
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