Local Red Cross volunteers headed to help with hurricane relief as Florence approaches

NOW: Local Red Cross volunteers headed to help with hurricane relief as Florence approaches


(CBS 58) -- Hurricane Florence is headed for the coast of North Carolina and South Carolina, but the storm's impact reaches far from the coastline. 

A million people are under a mandatory evacuation order. The National Hurricane Center says the size of Florence is staggering. It's already a Category 4 Hurricane and could intensify as it passes over warmer waters. Florence is expected to hit land sometime Friday. President Donald Trump has declared a state of emergency. 

Some evacuees are coming to the Milwaukee area to wait out the hurricane, while some local volunteers are headed into the danger zone. 

Red Cross of Wisconsin sent three of their emergency vehicles and more than 25 volunteers are on their way to help as Florence approaches. 

"I'm hoping that it goes further north and misses us altogether," Terrie Whitson who lives near Charleston, South Carolina. 

Terrie Whitson took an early morning flight from Charlotte, North Carolina to Milwaukee as the storm moves closer to the Carolinas. 

"We lived through Hugo and we survived that. So I am sure I will go home to something, I don't know what yet," said Whitson. 

Whitson will be staying with family in Manitowoc for about a week.

"I'd like to go home to one piece and if not, we will deal with that too," Whitson said. 

But there are some still deciding if they are going to stay or leave. Bill Barber is originally from Kenosha but now lives a couple miles south of Myrtle Beach. 

"We are going to watch it. If it keeps veering to the north we will stay. If it tracks further south we are going to leave because Category 4 is nothing to mess with," said Barber. 

Twenty-seven Wisconsin Red Cross volunteers are already gearing up to help with the response. 

"We are flying out this afternoon. We will get in this evening. We will report to the headquarters and see where we are needed and tomorrow we will go out to a shelter," said Mass Care Lead Volunteer Hillary Wanecke. 

Both Bill and Terrie are monitoring the storm and hoping for the best. 

"Godspeed to all of those in South Carolina. I will be saying a prayer for all of them," Whitson said. 

Barber says they will decide if they are going to evacuate Wednesday morning. Many of the Red Cross volunteers will be flying in Tuesday evening or first thing Wednesday morning. 

Share this article: