So. GA crews depart to help Sandy repairs - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

So. GA crews depart to help Sandy repairs

ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

American Red Cross volunteers and Georgia Power workers from south Georgia left Monday to help areas to our north recover from expected damage from Hurricane Sandy.

The giant storm is already impacting air travel all the way to South Georgia.

Hurricane Sandy is expected to leave hundreds of thousands without power for several days, making both the American Red Cross and Georgia Power lineman essential.

Another South Georgia American Red Cross emergency response vehicle gets ready to leave to help in the Hurricane Sandy relief. 77 year old Willie Hamilton from Albany and Sam Tyson from Quitman will drive to Ashburn, Virginia to stage until the storm hits.

Flint River Chapter American Red Cross Emergency Services Program Manager Nigel Poole said "They are going to hunker down and stay safe during the storm. We don't let our volunteers be in harm's way as much as possible. After the storm passes, they are going to have to evaluate everything and see where they are going to take them."

Hamilton grew up in New York, and worked with the Red Cross at Ground Zero after 9-11. He knows how much damage a Hurricane could do there.

Hamilton said "New York sits between the two rivers and it's coming into it, so they better be hoping and praying to the good Lord that it don't, because it sits right between those two rivers."

Hamilton and Tyson will be driving one of the 160 disaster vehicles mobilized to the region. More than 1300 Red Cross volunteers are on their way to stage and be ready.

Georgia Power sent 20 trucks and 26 people from Albany, Bainbridge, Tifton, Valdosta, and Waycross Monday morning. They will stage in Raleigh North Carolina tonight, and be on stand by to assist Baltimore Gas and Electric company if needed. Georgia Power has sent 340 people in all for the Hurricane relief effort, and could send more if needed.

The airports in Washington D.C., New York, and Philadelphia are all closed.

Airport officials at Southwest Georgia Regional Airport are urging travelers to call their carriers before leaving for Atlanta, because they could be in for long delays.

 Airport Director Yvette Aehle said "Obviously our flights are having no impact going in and out of here. But they all go to Atlanta. Once you get to Atlanta, that might be your problem where you have your connection problem."

South Georgians knowing this Hurricane could cause massive damage to the Northeast, and preparing to do what they can to help those in the storm's path

More than 3,200 people spent Sunday night in 112 Red Cross shelters in nine states - New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Maryland, Delaware, Virginia and Massachusetts. They expect that number to be even higher tonight and tomorrow, as the storm comes ashore.

Since Thursday more than 235-thousand people have downloaded the American Red Cross' hurricane app which gives up to date information on Red Cross shelters and information on people staying in them.

Copyright 2012 WALB.  All rights reserved.

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