• Local Red Cross volunteers help those impacted by Hurricane Barry in Louisiana

    By: Alicia Tarancon , Action News Jax

    Updated:

    JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - More than 20 American Red Cross volunteers from north Florida are in Louisiana helping people who have been impacted by Hurricane Barry.

    Hurricane Barry made landfall Saturday and weakened to a tropical storm on and now it’s bringing heavy rain and flooding.

    Gerald Thomas loaded up his car on Thursday morning with his American Red Cross vest in hand  and headed out to Baton Rouge ahead of the storm.

    Thomas is the Regional Chief Executive Office for the American Red Cross of North Florida.

    On Saturday he watched as strong winds toppled trees and power lines after Barry made landfall near Intercoastal City about 160 miles west of New Orleans.

    On Sunday nearly 100 thousand people are without power and families are dealing with tornado warnings.

    Thomas says some people were forced to leave their homes.

    “Along the coastal areas of Louisiana, like Plaquemines Parish, St. Mary Parish we had over 500 people in shelters overnight,” he said.

    Volunteers helped out families by giving them cots, blankets, and supplies at various shelters throughout the state.

    “We’re also trying to get hot meals to those shelters at least three times a day,” said Thomas.


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    The Action News Jax First Alert Weather team has been tracking Barry for about a week and half.

    They say one of the biggest threats on Sunday is going to be flooding.

    “The water going to be the main concern, even though Barry made landfall a while ago, we’re continuing to see a lot of moisture stream up from the gulf of Mexico, bring flooding rain to Louisiana and Mississippi,” First Alert Meteorologist Corey Simma said.

    Thomas says why he hasn’t heard of anyone being seriously hurt there have been quite a few water rescues in these flooded coastal areas like St. Mary Parish.

    And for the volunteers there, the work is just beginning.

    “The average is about two week so the folks that came in the first initial wave will be here for at least another 10 days or so. Some may stay longer,” Thomas said.

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