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Rapid City Red Cross sends vehicle to help out with Hurricane Ida

Volunteer, American Red Cross (Rapid City)
Volunteer, American Red Cross (Rapid City)(Jeffrey Lindblom)
Published: Sep. 2, 2021 at 10:30 PM MDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - Class four Hurricane Ida hit New Orleans a few days ago, knocking out the city’s power with wind gusts up to 130 miles per hour and threatening water levees in the area.

With parts devastated and other closed down, some people are left without food and shelter.

The Red Cross was preparing before the hurricane hit, and is now pooling their assets together across the nation and sending them to out to help. One of them, a Rapid City emergency recovery vehicle.

The vehicle will be manned by Greg Vonwald and his partner, who are going to drive 24 hours on Saturday. Reporting to the New Orleans area.

Their mission is to deliver food and water to those in need, and refer them to other volunteers with the Red Cross to assist them with shelter.

Vonwald says he’s volunteered to help for three hurricanes in the past and that time is of the essence when lives are on the line.

He says it’s difficult to watch on television while traumatic events unfold, knowing he can help.

He says his past military experience as a Marine Infantry Officer is a driving force as to why he continues to lend his services.

“To be quite frank with you, anytime you have a hurricane like this it’s chaos, right? So is war. So, I feel that I’m qualified simply because of my experience in the military. I had to deal with things without a lot of emotion and stress,” says Vonwald.

Officials say that the city hadn’t fully recovered from Katrina over a decade ago, and that with struggles the community is already facing with the ongoing pandemic that the introduction of a natural disaster makes things far worse.

The American Red Cross says that the pandemic has lessened the number of volunteers they see, and that they’re seeking more help.

If you’re interested in lending a helping hand, take a look here.

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