Red Cross, Others Fly Out of Port Columbus Into Path of ‘Irene’

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Hurricane Irene as it slams the Bahamas.(Photo: Undertow851)
Hurricane Irene as it slams the Bahamas.(Photo: Undertow851)

States along the eastern seaboard are prepping for the effects of Hurricane Irene. WOSU spoke with people today who are traveling toward the path of the storm.

It was a slow afternoon at Port Columbus where some people were trying to get to parts of the east coast that is set to be slammed by Hurricane Irene. Some people were having an easier go of it than others.

LaMarco Morrison had hoped to fly into Greenville, North Carolina. But Greenville is about an hour from the coast so his flight was diverted to an airport two hours from there. He said he’ll drive the rest of the way – in the storm.

“We’ve been monitoring the weather and they’re not really expecting anything until later on tonight. And at any rate it’s only going to be 40 mile per hour winds which is not all that bad, so we’re not worried,” Morrison said.

Nancy Givens’ flight was on-time and as scheduled. Givens’ was flying home to Richmond, Virginia – about 70 miles from the coast. But that does not mean Givens is in the clear – there’s a river that runs through the city.

“So there could be tidal surge and there could be flooding there. But in the middle of Richmond in the downtown they do have flood walls to help protect against flooding the city,” Givens said.

Not everyone had the concerns of Morrison and Givens.

Casey Onik was headed to Fort Lauderdale, Florida where he and his father plan to take advantage of the storm and go sailing.

“We’re going to hop on the boat and use some of the left over the winds moving from the south, the path of the hurricane, and catch that stream to Charleston, South Carolina. The thing should be petered out by then, I think,” Onik said.

Also flying out today were workers with the Red Cross of Greater Columbus. Lynn Cook is their communication’s officer. She and another colleague were flying to Rhode Island.

“To help the people in Rhode Island to get the information they need to know where they can go to be safe from the storm and what to do after the storm has come through. A lot depends on what happens. We’ll just take our cue from where it lands and how much damage it does,” she said.

Cook said as many as ten Red Cross workers in the Central Ohio area will be sent to the east coast. She said they’ll soon find out where they’ll go to deliver first aid, food and water and other supplies.

Forecasters predict Hurricane Irene to make landfall along the Outer Banks of North Carolina by tomorrow morning. Then it’s expected to travel up the east coast reaching northern New England by Sunday night.

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