By Corinne Murdock
Within 24 hours of the Gila Bend flooding tragedy, Republican governor-hopeful Matt Salmon organized relief efforts to flood victims. Salmon helped raise over $6,000 in cash and filled a gymnasium with resources like water, food, and clothes.
In an interview with AZ Free News, Salmon explained that he and his team sprung into action immediately. They appeared on local radio stations and sent out tweets, emails, and a variety of other messages to pool resources. Their team also received help from the Mesa Republican Women’s Club and community members.
Salmon then drove a U-haul truck to the Silver Star Theatre in Mesa to gather the donations; his wife, Nancy, assisted them all day. Gila Bend Mayor Chris Riggs told Salmon that cash would be more helpful to many families, since the flooding had left them without a place to sleep.
“It was really wonderful. We had a lot of the college Republicans that came and helped us out, sitting there in the hot sun all day collecting both money and equipment,” recounted Salmon. “It was really a team effort.”
In addition to cash donations, they also collected cleanup equipment like shovels, wheelbarrows, mops, plastic bags, and gloves. As the donations were collected, Salmon shared that one of the city council members showed him around to observe the devastation up close.
Salmon told AZ Free News that he was glad that they could offer immediate assistance to the many families affected by the historic flood.
“It really did my heart good that we could do something to help give back and help these folks. There were over 100 homes that were flooded out and destroyed,” explained Salmon. “Many lost everything they had.”
According to reports, two individuals perished as a result of the flash flood.