Vermonters Head Down Country To Help Sandy Victims

10/31/12 6:06AM

Governor Peter Shumlin says he and other officials are grateful that the state escaped passage of Hurricane Sandy without more significant damage.

Shumlin said Tuesday the state is now willing to offer support and assistance to other states hit harder by the storm, including sending two Vermont National Guard helicopters to New Jersey.

He said he also would be in contact with Governor John Lynch, in New Hampshire, and Governor Dannel Malloy, of Connecticut.

Shumlin said he was pleased Vermont was fully prepared for the storm. He said the state learned its lessons from Tropical Storm Irene. He added, a year ago, he was grateful for help from other states in Irene's aftermath.

And, local American Red Cross volunteers are also heading south to help with relief efforts.

A half-dozen volunteers from the local Red Cross chapter will be leaving today to help with the operations of shelters in other states.

An estimated 258 Red Cross shelters opened Monday night, assisting nearly 11,000 people as the storm pummeled the East Coast with high winds, rains and a surge of seawater.

Larry Crist is the Regional Executive Director for the Vermont and New Hampshire Upper Valley Red Cross. 

Crist said Tuesday trained volunteers, who can help staff Red Cross shelters, are in high demand right now.

"As an example, last night the Red Cross had about 365 shelters open throughout New England and the east coast. That requires a lot of people," said Crist.

The local volunteers will head to a staging area in White Plains, New York, where they will get their assignments.

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