Excerpt from Steve Taylor’s report in the Rio Grande Guardian, “‘We are the abandoned ones,’ say San Carlos residents”:
“Just along the street from where Flores stood guard, members of the Esperanza De Amore church had hooked up a blue tarpaulin sheet to a fence next the ditch, under which they serve hot food. Some residents, who did not wish to be named, said it was their first hot meal since the hurricane. “We need this for our kids,” said one.
“Cano and Belinda Rodriguez, a student, showed the Guardian where most San Carlos residents were getting their food and water. It was the local community center where Rodriguez works as a volunteer. The center has been commandeered by the American Red Cross. Four of the Red Cross’s Disaster Relief trucks were parked outside. Children were helping their parents carry ice and bottled water from the trucks to a room inside the center.
“The center was packed and baking hot. Mothers and their children had been waiting patiently for hours for food and water. There must have been 800 or more people packed inside.
“Ray Roberts, a Red Cross volunteer from east Tennessee, explained the operation. “We are feeding about 2,500 people with each run. We get the food from Kitchen No. 1 in McAllen. Once we run out we go back and bring more supplies. We will be back with more supplies this afternoon,” Roberts said.
“Rodriguez said there has not been enough food and water to go around. “On Sunday, the Red Cross ran out of food and water. Many people went without. Our people need more water,” Rodriguez said. She said San Carlos has been a “desperate” place to be for the past five days. “Some people are living in vans. We have the smell of dead animals. There are lots of mosquitoes. I have lived here 18 years and I have never seen anything like this,” she said.
“Rodriguez said she too had not seen one county official visit San Carlos since the flooding started. “All we have seen is the Red Cross and one church. No one else has been here,” she said.”