Local Red Cross volunteers head to Carolinas as evacuees begin to arrive

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Wednesday, September 12, 2018
Local volunteers deploy to Carolinas as evacuees make their way north
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Local volunteers deploy to Carolinas as evacuees make their way north: Maggie Kent reports on Action News at 10 p.m., September 11, 2018

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Nationally, 700 Red Cross disaster workers are on their way to the Carolinas. Most are volunteers.

Action News spoke to two of them at the airport as they began on their mission to help those affected by the storm.

Mike Kiley-Zufelt and Alex Boyer are prepared for some long days and hard work as they head to Columbia, South Carolina. But they say this is what they spend months preparing for.

"It's just amazing to see the people that you're actually able to provide comfort and assistance to who have been through one of the most devastating events that you can possibly imagine happening in their lives," said Kiley-Zufelt.

For both men, this is their second deployment, after responding to Houston after Harvey last year. But this one will be different.

"I responded after Harvey, so I really don't know what it's going to be like during the storm," said volunteer Alex Boyer. "I'm a volunteer firefighter in N.J, so I do have experience with Sandy and Irene."

The Red Cross is also sending supplies from our area including hundreds of cots. And they're prepared to step up their response if needed.

"We don't even know what this is going to turn into so we'll see what the aftermath looks like," said Red Cross Communications Manager Monica Cryan.

Along I-95 we found people leaving the storm zone, seeking shelter up north.

The Wyder family from the Outer Banks stayed during Hurricane Matthew two years ago.

"I was really scared because during the night you couldn't really see what was going on, all you heard was this wind," said Florence Wyder. "I said to my husband I'm not going to go thru this. Not if it could be 140 miles an hour."

Her husband, Glen, agreed.

"We decided after experiencing Matthew that it was better off that we would come north," he said.

The Wyders are staying with family in New Jersey.

We also talked to folks coming back home from vacations in Virginia, cutting their trips short in some cases. All saying they wanted to get out now before the rush, better safe than sorry.


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