CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Volunteers left the Charlotte Salvation Army just a couple hours ago.
They're not the only ones, other groups and companies are rushing to help but met some challenges.
Volunteers with the Charlotte Salvation Army loaded an emergency disaster truck with water, coffee and food to take to families in Columbia impacted by historic flooding.
"We want them to know Charlotte is praying for them, that we're here ready to stand by them," Major Larry Broome, Salvation Army Charlotte, said.
Richard Vosteen has been a disaster volunteer for 20 years. He said 'this' disaster is unlike any other.
"When you've lost everything, a hot meal and a kind word, a touch on the shoulder often means everything as far as bringing hope to people," Vosteen said.
The local American Red Cross is already in Wilmington.
At this Lowe's distribution center in Statesville emergency items like generators, dehumidifiers, shop vacs and more were loaded into trucks and are now heading to South Carolina.
"We're working with local agencies, as well, for their needs and making sure we have the people, products and services our communities are going to be in need of," Bill Edwards, Lowes Vice President of Store Operations said.
Travel is difficult because interstates and highways are still shut down and authorities are asking people to stay off them, so first responders can rescue people if necessary.
I talked to the u-s disaster relief manager for Samaritan's Purse via skype. He said they have three disaster units ready to go... But, they can't help people clean out homes. Until the flood water recedes.
“Right now is the time for us to continue to gather information, wait for the assessment reports to come in. We then let volunteers respond from across the country," Tim Haas, U.S. disaster relief manager with Samaritan’s Purse said.
Volunteers from the Salvation Army on their way to Columbia are prepared to stay a week.
The commander said they will rotate volunteers if needed, but they still don't know what the needs will be in the long-run.
How to Help SC:
Phone Numbers to volunteer:
- Charleston – 843-764-2323 x321
- Columbia – 803-508-5251
- Myrtle Beach – 843-764-2323 x321
- Upstate – 864-270-9575
Make a Donation:
Make a contribution to American Red Cross Disaster Relief or at 1-800-REDCROSS