NEW YORK CITY — With millions on the East Coast still affected by Hurricane Sandy’s wrath, local volunteers continue their tireless efforts to make a difference, helping those without electricity and food.
The Allen County Red Cross sent out six volunteers to help in those relief efforts last week.
Among them was Bo McComas. He has been working in Piscataway, N.J., since Oct. 29. Piscataway is about 40 miles southwest of New York City.
“The Southern Baptists have a kitchen open here. They’re cooking and we’re feeding,” McComas said. “We load our trucks right here at the kitchen. We had traveled all over the state. I’ve been all the way from Atlantic City all the way up to Jersey City. I’ve been all over the state with a few others in the truck.”
They feed upward of 1,200 people a day. He’s set to return home Friday.
Earlier this year, McComas was partnered with fellow Allen County Red Cross volunteer Steve Newman, assisting with Hurricane Isaac relief efforts in Louisiana.
This time around, Newman is helping in Manhattan at a health services clinic. He’s a trained emergency medical technician, so he helps anyone with scratches or scrapes that comes through, to injuries that are more severe. He was sent to Manhattan after spending a week in Baltimore with initial relief projects.
“There’s a lot of power outages. They just now opened up 14 new shelters for people who are still without power and without homes,” Newman said of his time in New York City. “It’s pretty bad. A lot of water damage, a lot of wind damage, a lot of fires and stuff, and a lot of just a lot of debris.”
He’s expecting to be in New York until the end of next week.
They both agreed that the devastation they’ve witnessed is worse than what they saw down south in the aftermath of Hurricane Isaac’s wrath.
“I’ve seen a lot of floods, but you normally see that in a disaster like this. I’ve never seen so many down trees,” McComas said. “Huge trees, just blown over, uprooted.”
The Emergency Program with St. Rita’s Medical Center as well as people from locally based MedCorp also pitched in to help, with their volunteers helping in New York City as well.