Local Relief Groups At The Ready To Assist After Hurricane Irma

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — It battered the Caribbean, destroying just about everything in sight, but Hurricane Irma is far from over, with the storm expected to make landfall in Florida this weekend.

“This is not a storm you can sit and wait through,” said Florida Governor Rick Scott.

For the Red Cross here in Maryland, crews are simply reloading, with some just returning from Texas.

“I was staying next to an area hospital, and all day and night, there was helicopters coming in with people who had to be rescued,” said Scott R. Salemme, regional chief executive officer with the American Red Cross.

After getting a glimpse of the devastation there, they’ll soon head to Florida, knowing it could be a repeat, or even worse.

“So instead of having homes flooded like Texas, you could have homes totally destroyed because of the wind,” Salemme said.

But for now, they are monitoring Irma’s path, making sure they can cover both the Sunshine State, and our area if needed.

“We don’t ever stretch ourselves too thin where we can’t support the people back home that we need to help,” said Aaron Fries, senior disaster program manager for the Red Cross.

AAA has already sent trucks to Houston, where hundreds of thousands of cars were destroyed, and additional resources are on standby to assist with Irma.

“Our mission is to help out those folks who have been devastated by the storm,” said Scott Kowalewski, safety and performance coordinator for AAA.

It’s the same story in Montgomery County, where members of its task force anxiously wait to jump into action down south.

“These are our bags that have all of our personal protection in it,” said one member.

Marylanders looking to help following a hurricane that’s expected to bring a deadly storm surge, and wind gusts, the state has never seen before.

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