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“The impacts here are huge:” Volunteers help Cathedral City families impacted by the storm

People across the valley have been helping the Cathedral City families impacted by tropical storm Hilary. Volunteers have helped with shoveling and passing food and water.

Valley resident Margaret Gutierrez has been on site every day since the flood. 

"I think it's really important for people to understand that this was a small part of this neighborhood, but the impacts here are huge," said Gutierrez. "Those of us who grew up here feel the need to come out and help and make sure that everyone has what's needed."

With a background in emergency management, Gutierrez has been helping those impacted with logistics. 

"It's something that people don't ever expect to happen. And so being able to be kind of the voice of reason in the background and say, okay, listen, this is super overwhelming, but here's what we need to do next," said Gutierrez.

Nonprofit World Central Kitchen came to provide residents and volunteers with food and water. Chelsea Goins, with the nonprofit, helped source food from local restaurants. 

"So it's so important between the heat and the complete loss of everything and the fact that this mud is drying, like quick dry cement, very quickly to make sure that that's just one less thing that they have to worry about," said Goins.

Vallet resident Melissa Lerma has been posting on her social media about where help is needed and what people can donate. 

"It's very emotional to see your friends go through some really, really horrific things or losing their homes," said Lerma. "There are so many volunteers that have come out here, and if it wasn't for them, like the streets would not be clear today."

Volunteers are still needed to help shovel out more affected homes.

"If they can't physically help, they can do water donations or Gatorade donations or gloves or shovels like things that we can use today... A lot of the homeowners need the tiny Bobcats to come into their garages. They got two feet of dirt that is like concrete. It's really hard to shovel." said Gutierrez. "This isn't going to happen overnight; we're going to be here for probably the next couple of months."

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Marian Bouchot

Marian Bouchot is the weekend morning anchor and a reporter for KESQ News Channel 3. Learn more about Marian here.


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