Upstate volunteers travel to help those impacted by Hurricane Ida

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GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) — Thousands in New Orleans remain without power after the Gulf was hit hard by Hurricane Ida earlier this week. But help is on the way, as dozens from South Carolina head that way.

A handful of Red Cross volunteers from right here in the Upstate are en route to help those impacted, and a total of 700 Red Cross volunteers from across the country are headed to assist.

Doug Crenshaw is from Oconee County and is on his way to New Orleans.

“It’s certainly a need for the community down there so that’s where I’m headed,” Crenshaw said.

He’s just one of the volunteers the Red Cross is sending to assist in the recovery efforts.

“We’ll be out in the community looking at damage to individual residences and structures trying to find out where the damage is concentrated, whether it’s wind or water damage,” Crenshaw said.

Nearly 30 volunteers from South Carolina are in the Gulf helping.

“We have folks who have been out in California who have flown to Louisiana. Folks who were in Tennessee that have come home and got a day or two rest and have gone down to Louisiana,” Benjamin Williamson with the American Red Cross, Palmetto SC Region, said.

And it will likely be a long process.

“This will be months and months and months and years,” Williamson said.

Others are headed from the Upstate too. Duke Energy is sending transmission specialists to help get the power back up.

“So the faster that you can get the infrastructure back up, the more quickly you can get power to those facilities, it’s critical,” Spokesperson Ryan Mosier said.

Many of those experts also helped following Hurricane Katrina.

“They’re going back to a place where they spent a lot of time helping those communities rebuild,” he said.

For Crenshaw, it’s his third deployment with the Red Cross after seeing devastation in his own back yard as Oconee County was hit by a tornado last year.

“A lot of friends and neighbors that were impacted by that,” he said.

He says the people in New Orleans are his neighbors too.

“We’re all neighbors aren’t we? Some just live a little closer than others,” Crenshaw said.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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