Hundreds of Georgia Power employees are waiting out the storm in Virginia ready to assist Baltimore Gas and Electric in restoring power to their customers. Meanwhile, four area residents are scattered across the Northeast volunteering with the Red Cross.
Making landfall Monday evening, Hurricane Sandy was set to collide with a winter storm front from the west and arctic air moving in from the north creating a dangerous mix for one of the nation’s most heavily populated regions.
“We have sent about 340 personnel. We had about 210 that left Sunday morning and those were from the metro-Atlanta area and the northern part of the state, which would include Cartersville. And we had about another 130 that left this morning out of the southern part of the state,” said Carol Boatright, Georgia Power spokesperson. “We do have an agreement to assist Baltimore Gas and Electric with restoration assuming they have the type of outages everyone is anticipating and predicting. So right now they are staging, waiting, holding in Virginia so that they will be out of the storm’s path but yet nearby and ready to assist once it moves through.”
Volunteers from Cartersville and Rome are on hand this week in several states to help with storm-relief efforts through various means.
“We had several of our local volunteers deployed up there. We actually had two from Cartersville and two from Rome that traveled up this past weekend to be pre-positioned to start providing [assistance] once the storm goes through,” said Jeffery Putnam, executive director of the American Red Cross of Northwest Georgia. “We’ve got two that have gone up there to help manage shelters — one of them has gone up there as part of an Emergency Response Vehicle crew and the other has gone to be a government liaison working with the local government as a representative of the Red Cross.”
Red Cross is always looking for new volunteers for disaster assistance and is now accepting donations to assist victims of Hurricane Sandy.
"We’re a volunteer-driven organization, so we’re always looking for new volunteers. They can go online to redcross.org to start that process or they can just call up here to the local chapter and we’ll introduce them to the required paperwork and training that it takes to get involved as a volunteer,” Putnam said. “As we’re a volunteer organization, we’re also driven by the generosity of our donors and this is going to be a very, very expensive storm to respond to.
“Donations are typically designated for certain things. If they’re designated just for our local chapter, they stay local because as a chapter we still have to operate and respond to our everyday disasters. But during an event like this, funds are often designated for storm response.”
For more information about volunteering or donating to the Red Cross, visit www.redcross.org or call the Northwest Georgia Red Cross office at 706-291-6648.
As of press time Monday, Bartow County and 92 other Georgia counties are under a wind advisory until 8 tonight with winds of 20 to 25 mph and gusts of up to 45 mph.