Hoosiers continue to respond to Superstorm Sandy - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Hoosiers continue to respond to Superstorm Sandy


Dozens of people from Michiana are out east, doing what they can to help storm victims.

The All Hazards Incident Management Team is a group of firefighters and police officers, including some from Michiana who are helping rescue people.

We're told they've been busy all day Tuesday in Toms River, New Jersey getting people out of the flood zone.

There's also a team in Baltimore, Maryland.

We were able to catch up with a Penn Township firefighter who's been working in an operations center, working on logistics and getting people where they need to be.

Battlion Chief Al Kirsits says he and his crew are safe inside the center, but the drive into Maryland during the storm was pretty eery.

"We're getting weather updates as we're traveling there. The bus had wifi, the bus had two drivers for safety and it was blowing pretty hard, kept getting windier and rainer. Normally you wouldn't think anything about it but knowing that you were driving into a hurricane was kinda weird," says Kirsits.

Kirsits and his crews will be on the road at 4am Wednesday to head to another location and see whether they can go home, or get re-deployed to another area.

Indiana Task Force 1 also left the Hoosier state for the East Coast.

We're talking about engineers, K-9's, police officers, even civilians.

The task force left in a caravan of semi's carrying supplies and equipment to help.

They expect to be there for at least seven to ten days.

This trip is a first of its kind for this task force.

FEMA recently approved them to take boats for water rescues.

"We always have a group of dedicated individuals here. Who are always ready to go to help their fellow man. All across the country," says Mayor of Indianapolis, Greg Ballard.

We have thousands of customers here in Michiana without power that crews are working hard on restoring, but it's nothing compared to the millions without power out east.

Indiana Michigan power has sent 140 people to West Virginia.

The big story there is snow.

Wet, heavy snow has downed lines throughout the state.

Crews are assessing damage.

There are also tree crews, responsible for clearing debris and of course, restoring power.

Red Cross Chapters in Elkhart and St. Joseph counties have already sent volunteers and they're sending more.

We just got word today that seven volunteers from the Elkhart County Chapter and two from the St. Joseph County Chapter will leave by Thursday.

Both Red Cross Chapters are also calling active volunteers to see who might be able help.

Shelter and feeding workers are the greatest need right now.

If you'd like to help, you have to be trained first, and the Red Cross is holding a couple of Boot Camps this week.

Classes will be held on Thursday, November 1 from 4pm until 10 pm  with a second session on Saturday, November 3 from 9 am until 4 pm at the St. Joseph County Chapter located at 3220 E. Jefferson Blvd. in South Bend.

Call (574) 234-0191 if you'd like to attend.

If you want to help, but can't make a trip to the east coast, you can donate blood at a local Red Cross chapter.

You can also donate money just call your local chapter or text REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.

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