GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) – As people living in Louisiana prepared for Hurricane Ida to make landfall, volunteers with the Red Cross headed in that direction to help get them through the storm.
According to officials with the Red Cross, right now at least ten South Carolinians are participating in those efforts, two are from the Upstate.
Ben Williamson, Spokesman for the Red Cross, said the next 24 hours are crucial in terms of getting volunteers on the ground and in the region safely ahead of the storm.
“Getting vehicles, trucks, or vans down there in place. Getting the shelters ready to go. That’s kind of what the next 24 to 48 hours will be,” said Williamson.
Right now all volunteers are positioned to help with sheltering.
“We expect there to be a very very high need for mass-sheltering,” Williamson explained. “Tens of thousands of people may need emergency sheltering, so we have our folks going to be helping with that.”
Hurricane Ida was expected to bring heavy rain and flooding, and has caused a lot of destruction.
“Louisiana is where we’re going to see the most impact, but we have teams standing up all the way from the panhandle of Florida, all along the coast, Mississippi, Alabama, of course Louisiana and Texas,” Williamson said.
Williamson said there’s also concern over capacity when it comes to volunteers, as resources are strained helping with the wildfires out west, flooding in Tennessee and more. He said the Red Cross needs help.
“If you’ve got the time, we’re in the end of August heading into September… Hurricane season goes through November, it’s two more months,” Williamson explained. “If you are able, if you can spare some time and become a volunteer even for a short period of time, the need is pretty great.”
The Red Cross also plans to work with community partners and emergency officials to provide aid after the storm passes.
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