AmeriCorps volunteers head south to help with hurricane relief

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"They could be working in a shelter, they could assist with feed, bulk distribution", said America Red Cross Regional Disaster Recovery Manager Shana Beal.

"Whether they choose to stay local or they are actually sent to Florida or Texas or wherever the need is, it's just a great opportunity", says Capps.

Jeff Baumgartner, a Santa Rosa resident who heads the American Red Cross California Northwest Chapter, will reach the storm-ravaged Florida Keys Tuesday uncertain of what he will find in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma.

"We know that devastation that comes from floodwaters", Speral added.

Speral cautions volunteers against self-deploying without first going through a well-established organization.

"One of the advantages of having a workforce that's hundreds of thousands of people strong is that we have volunteers who really can deploy and mobilize where they are needed", Red Cross of Northern Nevada Executive Director Zanny Marsh said.

Mar-a-Lago Irma Evacuation Ordered
In Key West, residents are under mandatory evacuation orders from Monroe County as of this morning. Mar-a-Lago, which overlooks the ocean on Palm Beach, was built in 1927.

Thankfully, help is on the ground with organizations like the Red Cross sending volunteers, including several from Northeast Ohio.

Marsh said the best type of donation in this case is cash.

They have no water or electricity, limited cellphone service and no way out on the lone road, Highway 1, stretching from Key West to Key Largo near the mainland, Baumgartner said.

"He said it was nearly instantly that his house was flooded", said Richard Smith, the Western South Dakota American Red Cross Executive Director. He got out of the flooding area, left everything he owned behind. "He was able to go out and do something".

The remains of Hurricane Irma look much different now that the swirling storm Channel 11 tracked all last week has come ashore.

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