REEDSBURG (WKOW) -- WKOW partnered with the American Red Cross Badger Chapter and Tweedee Productions this year to honor people who have gone above and beyond the call of duty. They are this year's Red Cross Real Heroes.
We feature woman who stepped in about one year ago when flooding hit our area.
Bev Vaillancourt is a Red Cross Real Hero and 'Someone You Should Know.'
The rain started to fall and the Baraboo River kept rising. That's when Red Cross Volunteer, Bev Vaillancourt dropped everything to help set up a shelter in Reedsburg. When she returned to the village of LaValle it didn't look good.
"It was completely flooded from one end to another. The access into the village was lost," said Bev Vaillancourt.
Bev's Disaster Assistance Team training was put to the test.
"As a Red Cross Volunteer you think of four things in a disaster. You think of the fact that people need shelter, they need water, they need food and last of all they need hope," said Bev.
Bev helped set up a shelter at the Catholic Church. Then, with the main roads blocked, Bev still found a way to get to Reedsburg for supplies.
"I drove up to Mauston, crossed the interstate and then back down into Reedsburg," said Bev.
A 15-minute trip now took nearly an hour. But, Bev loaded up her vehicle with water and food for the flood victims and firefighters who were helping them.
"I knew that I needed to get this village cleaning up. I knew that it was really important to get the basements cleaning out, get wet drywall out," said Bev.
Bev was on the phone, getting as much help as she could from the Red Cross and even the Wisconsin National Guard. She was also on the very soggy ground - helping save Village records and the library's books. Everybody, she says, was doing their part.
"The human spirit is truly amazing and this was an example of the human spirit at its finest," said Bev.
Bev showed that spirit when she took particular interest in helping one senior citizen. The woman had escaped her home with her dog and not much more.
"Everything was turned over in her house, everything was destroyed. All that was left was this muck that was in her home," said Bev.
Bev organized volunteers, including the Guard, to help clean-up, tear-out and rebuild.
"I thought now, here she is. You know she had bought this home with her husband and this is what she had left of her husband and her life. There was just no way that she was going to lose her husband or her home if I could do anything about it," said Bev.
Within weeks, the woman and her dog were back home. It was one more example of Bev's tenacity and love of her community...a community she's proud to say was back on its feet within a week.
"I said, this is the flagship of flood relief. What a village can do for flood relief," said Bev.
Fortunately, that flagship had some great navigation from this Rescue Hero.
"I was just the person who could kind of coordinate individuals, but it took the human spirit in LaValle to really save LaValle. I stand here for them. I'm here for them," said Bev.
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