Middle Georgia’s Red Cross volunteers are ready to help but await deployment in the wake of historic flooding in South Carolina.
A bulk of the positions of need have been in the areas of client case work, logistics and shelter work, said Larry Miller, disaster programming specialist for the Central Midwest Georgia region.
“Those positions fill up pretty quick,” he said.
Miller’s region is one of two that encompass Middle Georgia counties, along with the West Central Georgia region based out of Columbus and LaGrange. That region also has a list of volunteers prepared for action, but so far only regional disaster officer Eric Corliss has gotten the call.
“We’ve got a lot of really skilled staff and volunteers, ... and they’re just waiting to step up,” said Connie Hensler, executive director for the West Central region.
Some areas of the Palmetto State got more than 20 inches of rain in a matter of days. So far, 17 deaths have been attributed to rain and flooding throughout the Carolinas.
The relatively low need for volunteers from outside South Carolina wasn’t the only factor keeping Middle Georgia’s volunteers at home. They were also put on hold initially, in case areas in northeast and coastal Georgia were hit hard by the storms that spun off Hurricane Joaquin.
“Georgia, we kind of secured our people for any need we may have in Georgia,” Miller said.
The state’s volunteers have since been released to help in South Carolina.
Miller said there was no way to predict how the need for volunteers might change in the coming days. While it’s possible that more spots could come open, the opposite could also be true.
“You just never can tell,” he said. “As the situation develops, there may be less of a deployment opportunity.”
According to the Red Cross website, donations can be made online at www.redcross.org/donate or by calling 1-800-REDCROSS.
The Cooperative Baptist Fellowship is also collecting donations of both money and specific items that have been identified as needs. Money can be donated online at cbfofsc.org/sc-disaster-response, and a list of needed items is available at www.scemd.org/recovery-section/donations-and-volunteers.
Due to the flood waters that still haven’t receded, Georgia CBF Executive Coordinator Frank Broome said his organization also wasn’t sending in recovery volunteers yet, perhaps for a few weeks.
“You can’t just go do this tomorrow,” he said.
To contact writer Jeremy Timmerman, call 744-4331 or find him on Twitter@MTJTimm.