PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — There are people from the Pittsburgh area who are putting their lives in jeopardy in order to help others in the midst of Hurricane Florence.
The Red Cross has dispatched 18 local volunteers to the south as the dangerous storm rips through the Carolinas.
“In the shelter, we are maxed out at capacity. Last head count, we got 137 people,” said Greg Matoka, a Red Cross Shelter supervisor.
Matoka, from McCandless, is a shelter supervisor in Whiteville, North Carolina, which is about 40 miles west of Wilmington. This is the first time he was called down south from Pittsburgh for a storm. The shelter he’s working at is an elementary school.
He said some people are handling things very well, while others have taken the necessary precautions to stay safe.
“Surprisingly, the people are kind of calm about it. It’s like, we’ve done this before,” said Matoka. “One hand there are deserted streets, turn the corner and you see people mowing their lawns.”
In Columbia, South Carolina, shelter supervisor Paula Bauerle, who’s from Oakmont, is helping people out at a high school where evacuees are staying.
“Our shelter is at about 80 right now,” said Bauerle.
When KDKA spoke to Bauerle, she said a lot of people are coming in from the coast.
“Folks here are just awesome, and I just enjoy being here with them,” said Bauerle.
She said she’s never felt a threat to her safety as a volunteer for the Red Cross.
“I just feel comfortable wherever I go with them. I’ve been through fires and floods and everything else, and I’ve always felt safe,” said Bauerle.