By Marielle Mohs

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Over 270,000 families are displaced as floodwaters rise in Somalia. The flooding has been deadly, which has communities wanting to help here at home in Minnesota.

Saturday night, dozens gathered for a fundraiser in a South Minneapolis ballroom to raise money for the flood victims.

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“Twenty people confirmed dead and more still are missing,” said Hassan Jama, the executive director of the Islamic Association of North America, who also helped organize this fundraising event. “We have been organizing the last three days different events and raising funds to help the needy people in that region.”

Minnesota has the largest population of Somali-Americans in the U.S. Many who attended this fundraising event have loved ones who are in Somalia right now caught in this devastation.

“We have family that is still missing. We don’t even know if they’re alive,” said Habiba Mohamed.

“My family and my kids are there right now,” said Sabraa Halane.

They say the main needs are for food, medicine, mosquito nets, and clean water. Besides the rising water, the biggest threat is waterborne diseases.

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It cost $25 to get in the door Saturday night, and most people were giving even more.

“At least we’re wishing to raise $20,000 to $30,000,” said Jama.

More rain is expected in Somalia in the days ahead, so this effort is far from over.

“They can save lives if they support the needy ones that live in that region,” said Jama.

Somali-Americans who call Minnesota home say they hope more Minnesotans are called to give.

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People can donate via GoFundMe or Haro USA, a tax-deductible nonprofit.

Marielle Mohs