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A handful of local volunteers have been sent to Louisiana to help out where Tropical Storm Isaac is expected to hit. So far, 16 Red Cross volunteers from Western New York were deployed to lend a hand when Isaac strikes.

The local crew will join thousands of other disaster workers from across the Country prepare for any potential disaster the tropical storm leaves in its wake.

Communications Coordinator Jay Bonafede is with the Western New York chapter of the American Red Cross. He said among those deployed was man from Albion who stepped up to volunteer.  

“Richard Townsend was deployed, his original deployment was to Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He’s going to work on logistics and warehousing, helping distribute the materials that are either already there or are purchased and make sure they get to where they need to go,” said Bonafede.

Bonafede said Townsend along with all the other volunteers will be moved about the Country depending on which areas are hit hardest. He said volunteer presence is so crucial during an emergency.

“People just really have no where else to turn really when this happens. There were 52-hundred people that stayed in approximately 80 Red Cross Shelters across six states last night alone. So these are people that wouldn’t have some place else to go, they were forced from their homes, either by the predictions of something or flooding that already hit and so you have people that just have lost everything and have no where else to turn,” said Bonafede.

Bonafede said more trained volunteers are expected to be deployed throughout the week. 

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