Duke Energy, Red Cross head to Gulf Coast

Tuesday morning, the energy company said it was releasing 420 contractors so they could head to the Gulf Coast to help with repairs. A group of Red Cross volunteers from Raleigh also left for the Gulf Coast in emergency response vehicles to lend a helping hand.

The group said they are ready to help feed hundreds of people should disaster hit.

"I know I'm going to help out a lot of people and I'm hoping the damage won't be too bad," Red Cross volunteer James Annis said.

Ten disaster action team members from the Triangle have already joined more than 15,000 relief workers.

They are all headed to an area once devastated by Hurricane Katrina.

"Not nervous, we've done this before," Red Cross volunteer Kathy Rhodrick said. "We know what to do. We're well trained, but we look forward to it. It's always sad to see the things that happen to people. But knowing that there's something we can do to help out a little bit, is always nice."

Rhodrick said they will be helping residents in any way they can.

"Emotional support is always a part of whatever we do, but mostly we will be feeding," she said. "We will be sent to some place where there's a kitchen set up and we will go out two or three times a day and feed people out in the community."

The crew is also prepared for the emotional toll disaster relief can take on them.

"It's hard to see anybody's home destroyed and the things they go through," Rhodrick said. "You get to a point where you can detach yourself a little bit from it to get the job done, but sometimes it's very sad."

Volunteers said they are prepared to stay for two or three weeks.

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