Saturday, August 14, 2004

Cincinnati sends help to Charley victims

By Ari Bloomekatz
Enquirer staff writer

Hurricane Charley hits Florida
Photos from Hurricane Charley
Emergency response organizations from Greater Cincinnati are sending local volunteers to help victims of Hurricane Charley.

Cinergy Corp. dispatched nearly 160 workers to disaster areas Friday after the Florida Power & Light Co. requested help.

Cinergy spokeswoman Kathy Meinke said the group was scheduled to stop in Macon, Ga., Friday night and continue to where they are needed in Florida today. Local personnel include line workers, supervisors and mechanics, as well as 50 to 60 vehicles from Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana.

The Cincinnati Area Red Cross is sending two volunteers to help aid families as well as an emergency response vehicle from Blue Ash to help deliver meals.

Linda Fink, an 18-year veteran of the Red Cross, said she will be assessing damage and evaluating the best way for hurricane victims to recover.

Marwood Hallett, president of Ohio Volunteer Organizations Active in Disasters, said that as following Sept. 11, 2001, it is likely Ohio organizations will be asked for specialists, not just manpower.

"The locals (those in or close to the disaster area) respond first. And as needs develop, they will go to those closest and quickest," Hallett said, noting specialists from Ohio that might be asked for help include medical personnel, a chain-saw group to help with tree damage and child-care specialists to help parents.


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