Local organization sends relief supplies to flood zones

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Local organizations are stepping up to help by sending both volunteers and supplies to the east side of the state.

A leadership team left Kansas City Wednesday for St. Louis to help coordinate efforts including opening and closing emergency shelters.

Currently 11 shelters are open in the St. Louis area, and more than 130 people are staying in them. The Red Cross expects that number to grow in the next few days.

Addition shelters are open in Joplin, Springfield and Branson.

Weekend storms forced people in southwest Missouri from their homes, as well.

The Red Cross says extreme flooding is unusual for this time of year.

"We are used to ice storms in southern Missouri or winter storms, but flooding is fairly unusual, as are the tornadoes," Duane Hallock with the Red Cross said.  “Fortunately Missouri was not hit by tornadoes as so many states south and east were. But this is very unusual. We're in a very strange weather pattern here."

Duane also says, the easiest and quickest way to help people affected by the flooding is to make a donation to the Red Cross or another organization helping with relief efforts.