At least seven American Red Cross volunteers from the Waterloo and Des Moines areas have been dispatched to the Deep South after Sunday’s strike by Hurricane Dennis, which packed 120-mile an hour winds and brought heavy flooding. Marty McConville, spokesman for the Red Cross’ Hawkeye Chapter in Waterloo, says Iowa volunteers were headed south before the storm even hit. Two people left Waterloo on Saturday headed for Mobile, Alabama, carrying food and supplies in a big van called an emergency response vehicle or ERV. McConville says three more people from the Waterloo area were sent south on Sunday. Two are going to Jackson, Mississippi, to help with community services, like shelter and food and to provide cleanup kits, cots and blankets. Another person is headed from Waterloo to Montgomery, Alabama. McConville says the Iowans will help residents with cleanup efforts after the heavy flooding. The storm knocked out power to a half-million homes in three states. McConville says “We’re basically there to help the victims, to help them with the cleanup and the coping and finding shelter and food.” Two more Red Cross volunteers from the Central Iowa Chapter, based in Des Moines, left Sunday in another ERV for Mobile, Alabama. Most of the Iowans will be in the storm-struck area for three weeks.
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