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Local volunteers sent across the country to help with natural disasters

FARGO, ND (Valley News Live) – After rampant flooding last spring, many Valley residents have had their share of disaster. However, area volunteers from the American Red Cross are still looking for them.

Although it’s normally busy hurricane season for the American Red Cross, they say the amount of work this year is higher than normal as it ranges from floods in Kentucky to wildfires in California. .

“It was awful,” said Sandra Heggeness, who just returned from helping with the California wildfires. “I met the son of one of the women who was killed, and his mother was getting in the car to leave and she had so little time that she couldn’t even get in her car to get out. He was carrying his purse because it was all he had left of her.

Rob Reuland, disaster program manager for the ARC, who has just returned from helping with the floods in Kentucky, said: ‘When you sit down and look at the pictures of the different areas that you have seen, it makes you realize how lucky we are that our family members did not have to go through such an ordeal.

There was also a typhoon that hit the west coast of Alaska, flooding and destroying areas so remote that a telephone interview was not even possible for the volunteer there.

Despite the hardships and horrors volunteers see, they say the strength and support of these communities is what keeps them coming back to lend a hand.

“They just can’t believe you’re doing what you’re doing and they’re grateful you’re here. I can’t describe it, it’s just…awesome. I just got back a few days ago and I’m ready to go back,” Heggeness said.

“Many people, even though they have lost everything, worry about their neighbor and others. It’s amazing to see the care of the people who come to these communities and how the communities help each other during these disasters,” added Reuland.

90% of Red Cross helpers are volunteers, if you want to help, click here.