Red Cross Volunteer Shares Heartfelt, Humorous Story of Hurricane Relief Effort

Posted on: 8:58 pm, November 19, 2012, by , updated on: 10:28pm, November 19, 2012

LAKE WINNEBAGO, Mo. –  A Red Cross volunteer who helped in the north east is back home Monday and talking about how Superstorm Sandy, threw them some curve balls.

Sherri Odell left on Oct. 27 before the storm hit. She said she initially went to Baltimore. Then after the storm, she was moved to New Jersey, into some of the most devastated areas.

Odell spent 19 days, about 12 hours a day, helping to make sure supplies got where they needed to go from headquarters, to shelters. She said they also handed out three million clean-up kits.

“We have given so many cleanup kits: gloves, buckets, tarps, rakes, shovels, whatever is needed to help them clean up their homes,” Odell said.

Odell said people were returning home as they got power, until the nor’easter hit.

“People lost power so they had to come back to the shelter and it was almost as if we had two storms in one,” she said.

Odell said that wasn’t the only surprise.

“This is the first time that I’ve gone out for a hurricane and I ended up wearing snow boots and long underwear, in a hurricane!” she said. “It was just very, very unusual.”

She also said the extent of damage was massive, and to a large number of people. Those people might see them as a saving grace during this rough time.

“I don’t know that we are heroes, but I know that the minute you get there, you get this adrenaline surge and you just want to go there and do everything,” Odell said.

That’s why Odell said she has a suitcase packed and ready to go, again.

“It’s still an ongoing effort and we’re not done,” she said. “It’s still going on as we speak and I can’t help but think about everyone back there and going, ‘I need to get back. I need to get back.’”

Odell said in the 19 days she was there, she took just one day off and this was only because she was almost forced to. She said she’ll find out in the next couple of days if she gets to head back to help.

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email: gia.vang@wdaftv4.com

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