NEW ORLEANS — A dozen volunteers from Colorado and Wyoming are helping with the response to Hurricane Ida, which made landfall Sunday as a Category 4 storm.
The volunteers will provide shelter, food, emotional support, health services and recovery resources to the communities affected by the storm.
"We’re ready to go. We’ll see what happens when the sun comes up tomorrow and where we need to get in and start providing services to communities that were impacted the most," said Andrea Carlson with the Red Cross.
When everyone else is getting out, they are flying in. As Hurricane Ida slams into Louisiana, volunteers from Colorado are in the path of the storm, prepared for whatever comes next.
"Yesterday when we got off the plane, it was a parking lot on the interstate of people leaving town and heading towards Texas," said Carlson, who is currently in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Hurricane Ida damages roofs, brings down trees, and flood roads
If a Category 4 hurricane wasn’t enough to contend with, volunteers are deploying to an area with one of the worst COVID situations in the country. Some volunteers are now helping virtually, providing things like mental health services over video chat instead of being there in person.
"This allows individuals who still are very nervous about leaving their homes or getting out in public to still provide support and services to those individuals who need it most and to be part of our mission," said Carlson.
The Red Cross said the following volunteers are in the Gulf Coast area:
- Andrew Aerenson of the Western Colorado chapter is a member of the feeding team.
- Debbie Altmayer of the Southeastern Colorado chapter is on the sheltering team.
- Andrea Carlson, a staff member from the Mile High chapter, has deployed as a member of the advanced public affairs team.
- Monica Cook from the Wyoming chapter is part of the feeding team.
- Tom Hobbs, a volunteer from the Mile High chapter, has deployed as a member of the feeding team.
- Curtis Jack from the Southeastern Colorado chapter is a member of the sheltering team.
- Virginia Karras, a volunteer from the Northern Colorado chapter, has deployed as a member of the disaster assessment team.
- Marty Kennedy from the Northern Colorado chapter has deployed as a member of the disaster finance team.
- Harry Ladewig from the Mile High chapter is on the feeding team.
- Darlene Moore from the Northern Colorado chapter is a member of the sheltering team.
- Gilbert Nelson, a volunteer from the Northern Colorado chapter, is on the government operations team.
- William Round from the Northern Colorado chapter deployed as a member of the government operations team.
A typical deployment for a Red Cross disaster responder is 14 to 21 days.
With winds of 150 miles per hour, Hurricane Ida was one of the most powerful storms ever to hit the U.S. when it made landfall. It struck on the 16th anniversary of when Hurricane Katrina first hit land about 45 miles to the east.
It has since dropped to a Category 2 storm, with maximum winds of 110 miles per hour.
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