Southern Tier volunteers are answering the call downstate. Even before winds and flooding rain whipped New York City, local Red Cross workers were already on the ground. Now even more will be marching in. Our Katie Husband tells us how they'll be chipping in with the relief effort.
CORNING, N.Y. -- Rain, wind and a historic storm surge wreaked havoc through New York City. But Sandy's story was much different in the Southern Tier. Now area volunteers are heading downstate to help with the clean up.
"As we didn't have to stand up sheltering here in our area from Chemung, Schuyler and Steuben, we have six individuals that will be deploying down to White Plains and on to the shelters around the metro New York area," said Brian McConnell, executive director, Greater Steuben Chapter ARC.
Two were deployed before the storm even hit. Now eight people from the Twin Tier region will help thousands in the metro New York area. Eight may not seem like a lot, but McConnell wanted to make sure people here at home were in the clear.
"It's based on availability. So, it's not surprising given the fact we wanted to try to retain as many disaster responders locally until we saw the extent of Sandy locally," said McConnell.
There are about 250 shelters in the metro New York area and 75 in the city itself. Local volunteers are headed for the White Plains shelter. Fortunately, the chapters in this region are able to respond here and statewide if Mother Nature forces them to.
"We are fortunate to have the capacity to do both. And, if there is something bigger than we can handle as a chapter or chapters here in the chapter jurisdiction we would leverage the region for additional staff," said McConnell.
On top of the havoc Sandy caused, there's another growing concern for the American Red Cross. It's low on a valuable life saving resource because of the storm.
"It's my understanding that 300 blood drives along the eastern seaboard were canceled over the last two days and so the blood that was scheduled to be collected at those drives now needs to be replenished," said McConnell.
The Red Cross is encouraging people to make either supply or blood donations as part of the relief effort.
The six individuals are expected to leave from the Sullivan Trail Chapter Wednesday morning.