Local American Red Cross deploys vehicles, volunteers to Ala. for Sally relief efforts

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Thursday, September 17, 2020
American Red Cross deploys volunteers for Sally relief efforts
American Red Cross volunteers are on their way to Montgomery, Alabama to provide support and relief to those affected by Hurricane Sally.

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WTVD) -- Volunteers with the American Red Cross in the Sandhills are no strangers to assisting in disaster recovery efforts across the country, just last month a crew was deployed to Louisiana to aid with Hurricane Laura, this time they're heading down to Alabama to assist with relief from -- now -- Tropical Storm Sally.

Nick Carter, of Pittsboro, and Lamont Brown, of Fayetteville, gathered outside the Sandhills region location on Wednesday afternoon to prepare the Emergency Response Vehicle for the journey.

Brown, who served in the Army, says he's always been willing and ready to answer the call of duty. The Fayetteville local is well-versed in local deployments, providing relief efforts in North Carolina during Hurricane Florence, and most recently, Hurricane Laura. However, this is Brown's first time leaving the state.

RELATED: Sandhills Red Cross preparing to deploy volunteers to provide aid to Louisiana

"You don't know how devastating it is until you're really in it, and they've lost everything," Brown added.

Sally unleashed a barrage of flooding on parts of Florida and Alabama. Carter joined the American Red Cross in January. He tells Eyewitness News this is his first deployment, leaving him a tad anxious but eager to gets boots on the ground.

"We're going to load up on the way and deliver what we can and try to be of service as they deploy us down there," Carter said.

Phil Harris, the Executive Director of the American Red Cross Sandhills Region, says they're sending three vehicles in total in our region, each with two volunteers. The other two vehicles and helping hands are coming from Raleigh and Wilmington, both also heading down south.

"No, COVID doesn't allow for disasters to stop and the Red Cross needs to respond," Harris said.

Harris says more than 55 volunteers in the North Carolina eastern region are currently placed across the country, from the California fires to the tornado recovery efforts in Bertie County.

"We have people in both Louisiana, Texas, and now, we're going to be in Alabama and Mississippi," Harris said.

Carter and Brown tell ABC11 they'll remain in Alabama until their services are no longer need.

If you would like to volunteer or donate to the non-profit organization, you can go to their website for more information.