EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — As Hurricane Ida blasted ashore on Sunday, ripping through parts of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama, local groups up here in New England are sending volunteers to help with response.
The Red Cross has already sent 11 people from Rhode Island and Connecticut down to the Gulf Coast to help prepare shelters.
“We’ve opened dozens of shelters already for evacuees living in impacted areas,” John Godin said.
John Godin said volunteers from the region will work with officials and other community groups.
“The primary work will be prepositioning supplies. Helping the shelters set up with cots, blankets, comfort kits, toiletries for what people need,” he said.
Godin said this will help over ten-thousand people in Louisiana alone.
Hurricane Ida is hitting 16 years to the day of Hurricane Katrina, which devastated Louisiana and Mississippi. President Biden spoke Sunday, saying Ida’s devastation will likely be immense and that he is putting the country’s full might behind rescue and recovery.
The American Red Cross volunteers will be joining in that response.
“After a Category 4 there will be a lot of people all over the country cycled in into late September,” Godin said. “Making sure any needs we can immediately address from a water and food perspective we can offer to them.”
And the Red Cross is not alone. The Massachusetts Task Force trucks took off at 5:30 p.m. Sunday with eighty men and women headed to the Gulf.
“We prepare for the worst and hope for the best, we pray that our services are never needed, but when they are needed we all want to be the first one down there to help,” Spokesman Tom Getzunis.
U.S. Coast Guard crews from Air Station Cape Cod also arrived in Mobile, Alabama on Sunday in preparation for the rescue and recovery effort after the hurricane.