Large Number of Michigan Volunteers Deploy For Isaac Relief

By: Lindsay Veremis Email
By: Lindsay Veremis Email

Forty American Red Cross Volunteers from the Central and Northern Michigan Chapter have deployed to the Gulf Coast to help victims of Tropical Storm Isaac. Though Isaac has weakened more could be on the way.

"After the rains have settled a little bit we'll know more what needs to be done," Alison Bono with the Red Cross said.

Bono says the Gulf and Red Cross offices are places of constant motion, as Isaac slams the coast.

"You find that everyone is getting out, so all of the interstates are packed," New Orleans area native Desi Anderson, said as she made her way back to Lansing, where she now lives.

Anderson spoke with News 10 after being evacuated. She says it took 13 hours to travel 300 miles.

Anderson is no stranger to severe stormes, she was in Baton Rouge when Katrina hit.

"It's a rollercoaster ride," she explained. "On the bottom of it you realize how grateful you are today and so I find most people down there were just ready, they were more prepared.

Bono agrees.

"We learned a lot from Katrina, we we're more prepared, we're logistically better set to handle this so we're trying to calm people by saying we are better prepared, Katrina prepared us for this," she said.

Bono expects disaster response for Isaac to last for weeks. Michigan volunteers are spread across multiple states, joining the national force of about 2,700 trained helpers.

They're setting up feeding stations, shelters and providing much needed mental health support.

"Especially in Louisiana, because these people have been through this before and it was such a catastrophy," Bono said.

People like Anderson, who even while entering Michigan safely, couldn't shake her fears the damage of Katrina could happen again.

"I'm looking at the sky and there's not a cloud in the sky," she said. "But I'm still worried about my folks back in Louisiana, including my son."

The Red Cross is collecting donations for its relief efforts in the gulf. You can text a $10 gift by texting the REDCROSS to 90999.

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