As Hurricane Dorian threatens the U.S. mainland, Kentucky is sending help to its neighbors to the south.
The American Red Cross has sent more than two dozen volunteers to work in shelters, assisting those displaced from their homes with food and other needs. Jennifer Capps is executive director of the American Red Cross of South Central Kentucky.
“Monday night, more than 12,000 people stayed in 171 Red Cross shelters and community shelters in Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina, so we anticipate as the storm continues north, those numbers will grow," said Capps.
Hurricane Dorian has pounded the Bahamas for two days. While it’s unclear if and when the storm will reach the U.S., Dorian will bring heavy winds and rain to the southeast coast. Red Cross chapters in Kentucky have so far dispatched 27 volunteers and four emergency response vehicles with more manpower on standby.
A number of electric utilities in the state have also sent crews to help restore power. Four employees of Warren Rural Electric Cooperative left Tuesday morning bound for Hilliard, Florida while ten linemen from Nolin RECC were dispatched Monday to Alma, Georgia. More than 160 LG &E and KU workers are staged in southeast states awaiting orders from local power officials. The utilities are part of a mutual aid program in which states share crews in times of need.
The Kentucky National Guard is also extending help states in the path of Dorian. Six Army guardsmen from Kentucky will leave in two Blackhawk helicopters on Wednesday bound for South Carolina where they're expected to provide assistance moving people and supplies, according to Maj. Stephen Martin, director of Public Affairs. Sixty soldiers from the 63rd Theater Aviation Brigade are on standby to provide support in Florida later in the week.