SAN DIEGO — Nineteen American Red Cross Volunteers from San Diego are stationed up and down the East Coast, helping with relief efforts following Hurricane Dorian.
Since Dorian reached the U.S., volunteers have served more than 85,000 meals and housed more than 50,000 people, the Red Cross said.
“It’s hard work,” said Regional CEO, Sean Mahoney, who is stationed in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
The American Red Cross sent more than 100 semi-trucks filled with supplies, Mahoney said. Hundreds of shelters went up in a matter of days, from Florida to the Carolinas.
Mahoney said Dorian is not the first hurricane that he has responded to, but he has never seen anything quite like it.
“That slowing and the track changing so much really made it challenging for us,” Mahoney told FOX 5.
Nearly 80 shelters are set up in North Carolina alone, housing some 4,000 people.
Escondido native, Jamie Schaible, recently moved to Wilmington, a city on the coast of North Carolina. Schaible said she is days away from her wedding and many government buildings are still shut down.
“We were unable to get our marriage license on Tuesday,” Schaible said. The couple had to drive more than 100 miles away to Raleigh to pick it up.
Schaible also said mail service was interrupted and her wedding shoes never made it. Still, she said she is grateful.
“Blows up my heart, makes it swell that you have a community that supports each other,” Schaible said. “That’s the community I grew up with in San Marcos and Escondido, and to be on the other side of the United States in a community that responds and reacts the same way — it’s lovely. It’s such a blessing.”
Mahoney expects clean-up efforts to take weeks or even months.
Of the people assigned to the Hurricane Dorian response from San Diego and Imperial Counties, only two are paid staff members. The rest are unpaid volunteers, according to the Red Cross.
You can help with relief efforts by visiting the American Red Cross online.