Disaster Diaries Part Three

American Red Cross volunteers and staff have been working to distribute cleaning supplies, food and water to those affected by the floods. Jim Sheely, a volunteer from Charlotte, N.C., describes his deployment and the Red Cross’ efforts in West Virginia in part three of his disaster diaries:

    Saturday, June 26

    “Hello” from Wild, Wonderful West Virginia,

    There was a tornado in Weston, W.Va., Thursday evening, and that disaster has been added to our operation. My co-worker, Lance Bennink, from Athens, Ohio, drove a truck loaded with cleanup supplies up there on Friday.  Weston is on I-79 about 1½ hours from here.  I haven’t heard if we’ll send caseworkers or anyone else up there. We’re still getting caseworkers reporting in, and I think we’re still doing casework. 

    Today was a slow day but didn’t end until about 6 p.m. Right now I’m watching Carolina vs. Clemson in the College World Series playoffs. Tied 1-1 bottom of the 3rd.

    Carolina won 4-3 and will play UCLA Monday in the best-of-3 finals.

    Monday, June 28

    Slow days Sunday and today. We are still doing casework and feeding, but one of the three Emergency Response Vehicles went home today and another went into the shop for a leaky transmission.  Two or three caseworkers went home today and more will leave tomorrow.  They are to wrap up by Thursday and we will then clean, clear and close the Staff Shelter at the high school Friday. If all goes by plan, I may travel home around July 7.  We (Logistics volunteers) will be the last ones out.

    The Logistics Administrator here is George Barron from Huntsville, Ala. George joined the Army the year after I was born and retired 24 years later after spending much of his later years in logistics and facilities. He’s brought that experience to Red Cross disaster, and I’ve learned a lot from him in a short time.  I hope I get to work with him again. 

    West Virginia has flags at half-staff in honor of Senator Byrd, and I suppose they will place his body in the State Capitol and follow with a big funeral.  Probably declare a state holiday, too.  I don’t know yet if we’ll work on the Fourth.  It might depend on what we can get done if everyone else is closed up.  I’d rather work if it’ll get us home a day earlier.



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