CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — With a suitcase in hand, Jerry Silva of the Virginia Red Cross is headed down to Florida to help with the aftermath of Hurricane Ian.
After evaluating Friday night’s damage in Central Virginia following rain and wind from Hurricane Ian, the Virginia Red Cross deployed Silva to Florida.
“We put ourselves in harm’s ways to take care of our clients and staff volunteers,” Silva said.
In the aftermath of Friday night’s storms, the Virginia Red Cross assisted six families across the state. Fortunately, none were in the Richmond area.
The Red Cross group opted to send more resources where they are desperately needed. Despite leaving an area with mild risk for severe weather damage for a higher risk location, Silva said he’s not afraid of what’s to come.
“This is my 15th deployment,” Silva said.
The Richmond area didn’t escape Ian’s wrath unscathed. According to Dominion Energy, about 15,000 customers were left without power as of 4 p.m. on Saturday, Oct 1. Power has since been restored to the majority of Central Virginia customers.
Many Richmonders woke up on Saturday to trees and debris cluttering the streets. Christy Carneal, also with the Virginia Red Cross, said it’s crucial that their group maintains adequate resources to help those in need in local communities. As of now, there is still sufficient help available to Central Virginians, she said.
Residual winds and rain from Ian are still expected to make their way back around the area on Sunday, Oct. 2. Carneal pointed out that even if only a small number of people experience strong impacts from the storm, the devastation can be all-encompassing for them.
“If the trees come down on your home and you’ve lost that, you are still devastated,” Carneal said. “So, it may not be the community impact, but for the person who lost it, it is still a devastating effect.”