Local volunteers head out to help storm victims
Local people have left their homes to go into the path of the hurricane laying siege to the Carolinas.
Retired from the U.S. Air Force, Jim Singer of Huntingdon is a local American Red Cross volunteer deploying today to Wilmington, N.C., where he will join thousands of other volunteers. His duty will be to drive a box truck to deliver emergency supplies to people without electricity or food.
“The main thing is to keep families able to survive the three or four days this storm will run,” he said.
He plans to be in Wilmington for at least two weeks.
The consequences of Hurricane Florence could be disastrous. The storm battered the Carolina coast Thursday with winds up to 100 mph, leaving hundreds of thousands without power. The storm is expected to become more lethal as it crawls inland.
“The main threat from this storm is flooding. There will be some wind damage because it was a category 1 storm, but the main concern is flooding in the city or northwest of there,” Singer said.
“After the worst has passed, we start delivering clean-up kits, rakes and shovels,” he said.
Singer responded to a far-reaching call for volunteers in the American Red Cross network from the chapters in North Carolina.
“I am fortunate to be able to respond to these national emergencies,” he said.
In response to a call from the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency, Fullington Trailways LLC in State College sent drivers in a fleet of 17 motorcoaches to help with evacuation efforts.
“In similar situations we have handled hundreds to thousands of people, moving them from harm’s way to safety, a temporary shelter or a sports venue,” Fullington Director of Operations Mike Dull said.
The Fullington employees who are providing aid are all from Central Pennsylvania.
“A number of them are from Blair, Huntingdon and Clearfield. The are leaving their homes, their safe harbors and heading right into the storm,” he said.
Dull estimates they will aid hurricane relief efforts for about a week.
“It’s always a tough decision to send your employees into a place considered unsafe. But these folks have gone through all the training, what it takes to survive without bona fide lodging,” Dull said, noting that his drivers will stay on their buses, which were stocked with food.
Mirror Staff Writer Russ O’Reilly is at 946-7435.
Florence could drench state
STATE COLLEGE AP) — The remnants of Hurricane Florence are expected to reach Pennsylvania by midday Monday.
The National Weather Service said the storm could dump 2 to 4 inches of rain as it moves across Pennsylvania from southwest to northeast. Higher rainfall amounts are possible. Wind gusts could reach 30 mph.
Weather service meteorologist Paul Head in State College said most of the storm’s impact will be felt in the north and west. He said there could be some small-stream flooding, but rivers are expected to stay within their banks.
The storm is expected to leave Pennsylvania on Tuesday.