INFORUM.com | WDAZ.com

WDAY: The News Leader

Published November 01, 2012, 08:50 AM

More Upper Midwest Red Cross volunteers head east

FARGO, N.D. (AP) — More Red Cross volunteers left the upper Midwest to aid the relief efforts following Superstorm Sandy, which killed more than 70 people and caused billions of dollars' worth of damage in states along the Eastern Seaboard but only minor headaches and worry in the Dakotas.

FARGO, N.D. (AP) — More Red Cross volunteers left the upper Midwest to aid the relief efforts following Superstorm Sandy, which killed more than 70 people and caused billions of dollars' worth of damage in states along the Eastern Seaboard but only minor headaches and worry in the Dakotas.

Six volunteers from the Fargo and Minot areas left Wednesday, driving emergency response vehicles to the East Coast. They will spend two weeks providing food, water, and comfort kits to people in communities hammered by the storm.

"You get much more out of it than what you give, actually," Red Cross volunteer Rich Johnson told WDAY-TV in Fargo.

Last weekend, five other volunteers with the Minn-Kota Region of the American Red Cross went to New Jersey to work in emergency shelters for two weeks.

The storm, which made landfall in New Jersey on Monday, killed more than 70 people, left millions without power, shut down airports and crippled the New York City transit system.

The storm had some small effects in the Dakotas, such as causing delays for people in North Dakota renewing their driver's licenses. The delays earlier this week were due in part to power outages that affected a Virginia-based association that helps North Dakota officials verify information such as Social Security numbers for licenses, The Bismarck Tribune reported.

Glenn Jackson, director of the state Transportation Department's driver's license division, did not have an exact number but speculated that hundreds of drivers might have been affected on Monday and Tuesday.

"Everything came back online today," he said Wednesday.

Some Dakotans felt a more personal impact from the storm. Pierre, S.D., 911 dispatcher Cindy Gross told the Capital Journal that she had to use her job skills to convince her parents in Connecticut to get out of Sandy's path.

"People are the same all over, I guess," Gross said. "That's home and they don't want to leave. It's just something about human nature."

Aberdeen, S.D., nurses Suzanne Hofer and Jamie Kenny got a taste of Sandy before it hit the U.S. coast. They were on a medical mission to Haiti and were caught up in the destruction when the hurricane hit the Caribbean island, at one point being forced to wade across a river when a bridge was destroyed. They formed a human chain with some Haitian residents to make it across.

"It was like a bad episode of 'The Amazing Race,'" Kenny told the American News, referring to the reality TV show.

The nurses arrived home on Tuesday, in time to see news reports of the storm's devastation in the U.S.

"It was shocking how much damage there was," Kenny said.

Tags: