Local News

NC emergency crews, volunteers head to help SC flood victims

Posted October 5, 2015 10:51 p.m. EDT
Updated October 5, 2015 11:04 p.m. EDT

— North Carolina emergency responders and volunteer groups are heading to South Carolina to assist with rescue and recovery efforts after record-setting rain left thousands of residents stranded and nine people dead.

State Emergency Management Director Mike Sprayberry said he is overseeing 600 emergency workers who are prepared to help.

"We have activated a couple of warehouses. We activated swift water rescue teams, urban search and rescue teams, and a medical task force with a medical bus and ambulances," he said.

Sprayberry said as the days go on, emergency officials will monitor where and when they can scale back.

"We know that they are going to be doing a lot of damage assessments," he said. "That's huge because you're looking at roads, bridges and buildings."

While the state is responsible for handling the rescues and infrastructure, volunteers with the Red Cross will be addressing residents' personal needs.

"The individual homes and families who need assistance to clean up and recover...that is the role the Red Cross and the volunteer organizations play," said Barry Porter with the American Red Cross.

Porter said the organization is prepared with nearly 400 volunteers and bulk supplise.

"Many families won't have the resources to recover," he said. "They won't quality for government assistance and it will be a long term recovery process for them to rebuild."

Porter said while large scale disasters can overwhelm routine volunteers, the organization has called on trained volunteers with various skills. The organization will rotate the volunteers as long as they are needed, he said.

Anyone who would like to learn more about becoming a volunteer can visit the American Red Cross website.