NEW HAVEN, Conn (WTNH) — With much of South Carolina still underwater after record flooding, people from our area are on their way to help out. Aid groups here in Connecticut have already sent supplies down south. Now, Red Cross volunteer John Glendon is on his way, too, on his way to join four others who left earlier this week.
Glendon has been volunteering with the Red Cross for ten years, but he knows this disaster is a little different in that it is still unfolding. Hundreds of roads and neighborhoods are still underwater, and there is still a very real threat that dams could give way and make everything a lot worse.
“Last night there was 400 people in shelters, the rivers are still rising,” said Glendon in an interview outside New Haven’s Red Cross building.
He has deployed to a half dozen tornadoes and hurricanes in the past, but those kinds of storms do their damage and leave. The South Carolina flooding keeps getting worse. One priority for the Red Cross is simply letting survivors communicate with loved ones.
“We have a website called safe and well (https://safeandwell.communityos.org/cms/index.php) where the clients can find out where people are in the shelters,” Glendon said.
Glendon has been told he’ll be stationed in Charlotte, North Carolina, a safe distance away from the flooding. His mission will be helping coordinate relief efforts. He will be there for about two weeks, probably sleeping on a cot in a gym somewhere, he thinks. That may not sound like fun, but he says it is worth it.
Mystic resident Dr. Wayne Dailey is a Mental Health Services Disaster Volunteer with the Red Cross. He arrived in South Carolina on Tuesday, and plans on staying through next week.He said on arrival, the devastation was apparent.
“You could see a lot of water from the plane. From the plane as I was coming in, and rivers that were swollen or rivers that were really raging,” said Dr. Dailey.
Dailey’s focus is primarily on encouraging victims to talk about their experiences. It’s a step he says is vital when working toward personal recovery after a disaster.
“They talk about it in their own time and when they’re ready. Some people will tell you that they’re not interested in talking about it now. We’ll say we’re around and if you’d like to speak to us later, we’re available,’ said Dr. Dailey.
For both Dailey and Glendon, it’s a job they’re happy to do.
“It’s great working with a team, we’re all working together, and it’s very rewarding work at the end,” said Glendon. “People are always thanking you, giving you hugs.”
“To help people in a disaster is, is, you know, very gratifying. You know, you can see that you’re able to do and small ways that you’re able to help people,” said Dr. Dailey.
If you want to help support the Red Cross disaster relief effort, click here.