More Red Cross volunteers from Iowa are being sent to the Gulf Coast where Tropical Storm Isaac is expected to grow to a hurricane and hit land somewhere between Florida and Louisiana. Nick Jost (JOHst) is the regional response director with the Grant Wood Chapter of the Red Cross in Cedar Rapids. He sent nine people south last Friday before getting a call for more help over the weekend.
“I sent out four more volunteers from the eastern Iowa area,” Jost said. “I’ve just been checking my email regularly and watching my phone. We were able to deploy (the four volunteers) this morning.” More than a dozen Red Cross volunteers from Cedar Rapids, Waterloo, Des Moines and Sioux City have been sent to the Gulf Coast to help prepare for the storm.
Jost said the Iowans could remain south for several weeks. “The flooding won’t go down quickly and the people won’t be able to get back into their homes as quickly as they’d like, so we’re prepared for a couple of weeks,” Jost said.
The planned start of the Republican National Convention in Tampa was pushed back one day because of the potential for severe weather. Forecasters now say it appears Isaac will grow to a Category 1 hurricane and possibly hit late Tuesday somewhere along a roughly 300-mile stretch from southwest of New Orleans to the Florida Panhandle.
Hurricane Katrina struck the same area seven years ago this week.
By Jill Kasperie, KCRG-TV, Cedar Rapids