NC Red Cross volunteers headed to storm-ravaged Northeast

Posted October 31, 2012 6:49 a.m. EDT
Updated October 31, 2012 9:12 a.m. EDT

American Red Cross

— More than a dozen volunteers with local North Carolina chapters of the American Red Cross are headed to the Northeast to assist in Hurricane Sandy relief efforts.

Four teams from Raleigh, Durham and Fayetteville were expected to leave to travel to New Jersey Wednesday morning, where they will then be dispersed to help with the aftermath.

Tim Duncan is one of those volunteers.

"My first deployment with the Red Cross was Hurricane Katrina," he said. "So, I expect just about the same – a lot of loss, sadness, a lot of opportunity for me to give back, and I look forward to that."

About 11,000 people were in 250 shelters in seven states on Monday. By Tuesday, more than 9,000 spent the night in 171 shelters in 13 states.

More than 1,700 workers and volunteers – from as far away as Florida, Texas and Oklahoma – are in the area.

In addition to on-site aid, the American Red Cross is in need of blood donations.

The storm forced the cancellation of more than 300 blood drives along the East Coast, resulting in a shortage of about 9,000 units of blood.

Power outages and flooding will likely result in more cancellations this week, and the Red Cross is urging those who can give blood to do so.

As of Wednesday morning, at least 55 deaths have been reported as a result of Sandy. More than 8 million people were without power.