ND volunteers help with storm relief in New JerseySuperstorm Sandy on the East Coast is affecting North Dakota-based Red Cross volunteers, National Weather Service technicians and even hockey teams.
FARGO, N.D. (AP) — Superstorm Sandy on the East Coast is affecting North Dakota-based Red Cross volunteers, National Weather Service technicians and even hockey teams.
Five Red Cross volunteers from Fargo, Minot and Dickinson flew out Saturday to work in emergency shelters in New Jersey for two weeks, after getting just 12 hours’ notice.
“That's pretty special to have volunteers who are willing to do that,” Red Cross Minn-Kota Region CEO Randy Johnson told The Forum newspaper.
Up to 10 more volunteers from the region might be tabbed to drive emergency response vehicles to the East Coast to provide food and water to people who will be cleaning homes and neighborhoods, he said.
The storm that made landfall in New Jersey on Monday has killed people in more than half a dozen states and cut power to millions.
The National Weather Service office in Bismarck from Thursday to Monday launched four weather balloons each day rather than the typical two to help with forecasting for the storm.
“It improves the models so that they can better forecast what's coming in,” Intern Meteorologist Michael Mathews told KXMB-TV. “Doing two more launches, they have more data throughout the day to make a better forecast.”
The storm has grounded thousands of flights, and officials have said it could be days before some passengers can get where they're headed. University of North Dakota officials were waiting to get word on whether weekend hockey opponents will be able to make it to North Dakota, the Grand Forks Herald reported. The UND men's team is scheduled to host Boston University on Friday and Saturday, and the women's team is to host Clarkson, a school in Potsdam, N.Y.
North Dakotans are used to harsh weather, but many watching news reports of Sandy were in awe of the storm's power.
“I'd much rather go through a blizzard,” Bismarck resident Marla Schroeder told KXMB. “I can't imagine having to board everything up, and not knowing if your livelihood or home is going to be OK after you're done. A blizzard is bad, but not nearly as bad as a hurricane.”