ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – On Sunday, Tropical Storm Ida barreled through the Louisiana coastline as a powerful hurricane, pounding the coastline with winds, rain and knocked out a large part of the state’s electrical grid.
However, the Red Cross of Abilene had already deployed volunteers to Louisiana five days prior to the hurricane.
Now, they are preparing to send more help in the form of an ERV, or emergency response vehicle.
Bill Blagg of Brownwood has volunteered with the Red Cross for longer than a decade, and will be driving the vehicle to Houston to pick up more supplies.
“You never really get used to it,” Blagg said. “For miles and miles, there’s buildings and homes destroyed. There’s no power and most of the businesses are closed.”
He and his partner will then pack up for two weeks and will be deployed to either Louisiana or Mississippi.
Blagg said that once they arrive, they’ll begin driving the neighborhood streets looking to serve meals to those who lost power.
Robyn Flores, Executive Director of the Big Country Red Cross branch, said that the vehicle has plenty of storage for both food and supplies.
She also said that there is a window on the passenger side that can open up, so Blagg can serve food from inside.
For most, Flores said, just seeing the damaged buildings and homes and those affected directly can be extraordinarily draining on their volunteers.
But Blagg said that even underneath the rubble, the people affected most have the best attitudes and have the most hope.
“As you might think,” Blagg said. “we Americans are pretty resilient, too.”
Flores said that the Red Cross is still actively seeking volunteers, and those interested can apply here.