American Red Cross deploys volunteers to aid in Hurricane Sally relief, need for volunteers still high


(WJHL) – Hurricane Sally left behind damage and flooding along the Gulf Coast and residents are now working to rebuild following the storm.

On Thursday, volunteers from our region were deployed by the American Red Cross of Northeast Tennessee to assist in relief efforts along the coast.

“There are so many people out here who are hurting and we’re here today because we want our people to know that we are hurting with you,” said Alabama Governor, Kay Ivey.

On Friday, Governor Ivey took to the skies to view the damage along the Alabama coastline. Hurricane Sally, which made landfall as a category 2 hurricane caused tremendous flooding and damage all along the gulf coast states, especially in Alabama.

“Y’all, it’s really bad. I’m sure it could be worse, but what I’ve seen this morning in the flyover, Gulf Shores and Orange Beach and Fort Morgan, it’s really, really bad,” said Ivey.

While locals rebuild, relief agencies are pouring into the impacted areas to help including some Northeast Tennessee natives.

“Tennessee has deployed 111 volunteers as of this morning and 18 of those come from right here in East Tennessee,” said American Red Cross NE TN Exec. Director, Heather Carbajal.

Eighteen people from our region are scattered across the U.S. helping with the wildfires on the West Coast and storm damage in the south. Four of the 18 were deployed Thursday to Alabama, Florida, and Mississippi to help specifically with Hurricane Sally.

Heather Carbajal just got back from Louisiana where she helped following the damage and unbearable conditions left by Hurricane Laura. “Hundreds of thousands of people are without power with heat advisories so we’re out there working and it’s 104 degrees with 95% humidity and on top of it all, we’re dealing with a global pandemic,” she said.

According to Red Cross officials, more than 470,000 people are without power in Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, and Mississippi. These recent disasters have kept thousands of Red Cross volunteers busy for weeks, working tirelessly to provide food, shelter, comfort, and support to people in need.

It’s been a busy year for the American Red Cross and other relief agencies, and it’s never too late to lend a helping hand, especially now. In just the last month, the American Red Cross has helped tens of thousands of people whose lives were uprooted by massive back-to-back disasters including the continuing and relentless wildfires in the west, Hurricane Laura, and now they are responding to Hurricane Sally amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

“The need for volunteers has never been greater. Not only are we supporting multiple disasters across the nation, but we’re preparing for what’s to come. Hurricane season is not over yet, and wildfire season is far from over,” said Carbajal.

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