PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Hurricane Irene made landfall early Saturday morning and people from our area are already on the way to provide help in the relief efforts.

The Pennsylvania National Guard is sending 1,500 Army and Air Force Guard members to areas likely to be heavily damaged by Hurricane Irene.

Those servicemen and women will help with rescue missions, setting up sand bags and whatever else is needed.

In downtown Pittsburgh, two Red Cross volunteers are delivering hundreds of hot meals to the East Coast.

Six volunteers from this area will be in Reading and will receive further instructions once they arrive. There are also 35 volunteers on stand-by.

Tom and Cheryl Fleet, both retired teachers, said this is their first time helping in a major disaster, and they are prepared for the worst.

“We know there’s going to be a lot of devastation and we’re preparing ourselves mentally. But, we know there’s going to be people that need what we have, which is usually a hot meal, a place to sleep, and an ear to listen,” Tom Fleet said.

A Red Cross spokesperson said in addition to the local volunteers, hundreds are ready to go all along the East Coast, while thousands are on stand-by.


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