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Published: Saturday, 7/29/2006

Coalition forms to aid flood victims

Several area community and volunteer groups are forming a long-term disaster recovery committee to assist those affected by this summer's flooding.

The committee's job would involve identifying and matching residents' needs with resources, including money, housing, or repair work that a large network of community groups could provide.

It would perform the type of roles that FEMA and the American Red Cross are now filling, although on a long-term basis, said the Rev. Larry Clark, executive director of Toledo Area Ministries, a network of churches that is coordinating the committee.

The organization hosted the committee's initial meeting yesterday at Collingwood Presbyterian Church. Representatives from nearly two dozen agencies, organizations, and government entities were in attendance.

Tammy Huxley, a representative of Lutheran Social Services of Northwest Ohio, said the community could use the long-term flood assistance.

The charity is assisting 56 area residents and families affected by the flooding, she said.

The committee would be similar in structure and purpose to one formed six years ago in the aftermath of flooding, Mr. Clark said.

That committee, Congregations and Agencies for the Recovery Effort, ultimately was disbanded. Mr. Clark said the community would benefit by keeping the new group in place permanently.

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