ST. LOUIS – Hurricane Dorian has tied the record for the most powerful hurricane to ever make landfall. The Category 5 storm that brought 185 mph winds to the Bahama Islands brings no surprised that help is needed.
Viral videos of destruction on the Grand Bahama and Aboco Islands serves as a warning to US residents.
“We need to make sure that we are there and ready,” said Mary Jane Thomsen, American Red Cross.
The East Coast is bracing for the storm churning off the coastline. Evacuations in South Carolina are displacing more than 830,000 people. Traffic has been reversed on Interstate 26, with all lanes to moving outbound from the coast.
Residents from the St. Louis metro are headed in the opposite direction, inbound, towards the coastline. Eighty-five Missouri Ameren volunteers, including line workers, logistics, and safety personnel are packed and ready to go as they head closer to the storm’s path.
“When people are in need and we’re committed to doing that, we will stay as long as it takes. You know, like in Puerto Rico, we were there for three months. It just depends on how long it’s going to be," said Ryan Arnold, Missouri Ameren.
The American Red Cross has sent out 40 people in the region with four Emergency Response Vehicles to the Carolina coastline.
Thomsen said volunteers are headed towards the Carolina coastline, but as the storm’s path changes, plans may change.
“They put people at the ready in different locations,” she said. “So as of yesterday, we had five different locations where we were putting people so that they could respond depending on where the hurricane has its effects.”
Volunteers from the region work tireless hours, but the time they donate all pays off.
“It’s very gratifying to see that you can get that and get them back to some normalcy."
Another Missouri Disaster Relief Organization, MO-TF1, has deployed over 50 people to South Carolina.
If you want to help you can always donate to the American Red Cross at 1-800-RED-CROSS or visit their website. To donate $10, text “Dorian” to 90999.