Dotty Lanphear, of Camden, departed Sept. 29 from the Bangor International Airport to assist in the American Red Cross relief operation in Iowa.

Lanphear is the first Red Cross in Maine volunteer deployed to the region and will help families in north and eastern Iowa as they begin the cleanup process following devastating flooding from the Cedar and Wapsipinicon Rivers.

A Red Cross of Maine Disaster Mental Health Services volunteer, Lanphear has been affiliated with the organization for the last 10 years and will join more than 150 trained Red Cross workers, both volunteers and staff, assisting in the relief operation. Most recently, she was deployed to Louisiana for two weeks assisting those impacted by the flooding and has previously been on seven deployments throughout the country.

Two Red Cross emergency shelters remain open in Cedar Rapids and another shelter remains on standby, if emergency officials request it. At the emergency shelters, Red Cross workers are providing warm meals, a safe place to sleep and emotional support.

Red Cross workers have served more than 9,400 meals and snacks and handed out more than more than 2,500 relief items such as toiletries and Red Cross cleanup kits which include items like bleach and other cleaning supplies like rakes and gloves.