Local volunteers head to Carolinas ahead of Hurricane Florence

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ST. LOUIS, Mo. – As Hurricane Florence roars toward the Carolinas, trucks and volunteers from the St. Louis-area Red Cross left for North Carolina on Tuesday to help what could be close to a million evacuees.

“The need for us to all to focus on the East Coast is great now, so the good thing about the Red Cross is we’re able to ramp up a large operation where everyone comes in and supports,” Chris Harmon, regional disaster officer for the American Red Cross of Missouri.

Eleven Red Cross emergency response vehicles from our state region, including five from the St. Louis area, will be assisting those during their time of need. St. Louisan Brett Williams volunteered during Houston's flooding last year.

“It doesn’t matter what we provide them,” Williams said. “They are so appreciative of what the Red Cross can provide.”

A Red Cross spokesperson said this was our region’s opportunity to assist others after other out-of-state Red Cross volunteers came and helped during our flooding a few years ago.

“These things will be staffed with volunteers and be able to hand food out initially and also bring needed supplies after the water goes down, like clean-up kits, bleach, mops, blankets, things like that,” Harmon said.

Thirty-nine volunteers left from St. Louis Tuesday and this is there chance to put lots of preparation into play.

“They've trained and done this. they're about to fit into that role,” Harmon said.

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