PHOENIX — The latest hurricane of the 2018, Hurricane Michael, roared ashore with devastating effects by mid-day Wednesday.
As with any disaster of this magnitude, the call for help went out days before landfall.
Planning from the American Red Cross includes setting up a series of strategic shelters, and staffing the relief effort with volunteers from all over the country.
American Red Cross Greater Phoenix Chapter officials report that some of the over 100 people from Arizona, New Mexico, and El Paso have been redirected from Hurricane Florence relief work down to the Florida Panhandle area to get operations started there.
As of Wednesday afternoon, three more volunteers from Phoenix and three more from Tucson are heading to Orlando, Florida to stage for future deployment.
"In North Carolina we were looking at Category 1, maybe Category 2, and you could see the devastation that occurred in those areas," Red Cross volunteer, Benjamin Montgomery said. "But now you're looking at a Category 4, and you know, perhaps in the cities, it may not be as much damage, but the outlying areas, there's probably going to be a lot more damage."
Montgomery departed Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport on a flight to Orlando Wednesday.
The Red Cross says 4,000 people are staying in 70 Red Cross community evacuation centers across Florida, Georgia and Alabama. That number is expected to climb as damage reports come in to Red Cross Assessment teams.