Oklahoma Red Cross Volunteers Respond To Hurricane Sandy

Monday, October 29th 2012, 7:23 pm
By: News 9

Hurricane Sandy is taking its toll up and down the east coast, and some of Oklahoma's own are responding to the storm.

Volunteers with the Central and Western Oklahoma Red Cross have been on the East Coast for days.

Oklahomans have been preparing for Hurricane Sandy for days. Eastern Oklahoma Red Cross volunteers left for Maryland this weekend. On Monday, News 9 talked with another group from Central Oklahoma who are in New Jersey, ready to head out first thing Tuesday morning to assess the damage.

Sandy barreled into the New Jersey shore Monday, ripping through the historic boardwalk in Atlantic City today as the destructive storm moves inland on the east coast.

Most flights were canceled, schools closed, and mass transit systems shut down under the threat of flooding.

Steve Klapp is a Red Cross disaster assessment manger from Cleveland County. He's been in New Jersey for days preparing for the storm's aftermath.

"The teams that will go out and do the damage reports will actually drive up and down every single street looking at every single house, as long as they're able to, if the flooding isn't too bad," Klapp said.

The crews he'll be directing will go out first thing in the morning to assess the damage to homes, finding out what kind of assistance people will be able to get from the Red Cross.

"My concern with this storm is that a lot of the leaves that are being blown off because the colors have changed are going to plug up a lot of the drains in the storm systems, and there's going to be a lot of localized flooding," Klapp said.

That team from Central Oklahoma is expected to stay in the New Jersey area for at least a week. Also, about 70 people from the Tulsa area with the Public Service Company of Oklahoma are in West Virginia, where snowfall is expected to cause more headaches there.

More than a million people are without power across several states.

By the time it makes landfall, the storm is expected to affect about 50 million people on the east coast.