CARIBOU, Maine — Aroostook County Red Cross Community Manager Mary Green was flying to Wilmington, North Carolina, Monday to help Hurricane Florence victims.
Green, who has 18 years of community service experience, left for Georgia last year to help Hurricane Irma victims. Much like her time in Georgia, Green will survey the damage in North Carolina, where she will stay for a period of two to three weeks.
Green boarded a plane in Presque Isle around noon Monday and expected to arrive at roughly 7 p.m. in North Carolina,, where she will have a quick meal and a “good night’s sleep” so she can “start fresh” on Tuesday.
The conditions make this trip anything but a pleasant vacation, as Green will be subjected to rough conditions: humid weather, long days, a lack of electricity and potable water, sub-optimal sleeping conditions, and hours of walking through the storm’s aftermath.
“It will be hot and humid,” Green said, “but I’m really looking forward to helping the people who have been so devastated by flood and wind damage.”
She looks forward to “giving them a hug” and letting them know that “the Red Cross is there for them.”
“My hope is that I’ll make some small difference,” she said.
Several volunteers from Maine, including Florence Bonney of Aroostook County, already are helping the victims of Florence, and Green said more are likely on the way.
While Green said she was sent on a two week assignment, she is “prepared to stay three weeks if they need me.”
Green said her “heart goes out to” those impacted by the horrific storm.
“We want them to know that we’re there for them,” she said. “We’re deploying people and we’re ready, along with our partners, to stay until all of our work is done.”
She said the work involves much more than “just getting people back into their homes,” and that the cleanup and rebuilding process are just as much a part of the recovery effort.
“Our volunteers are amazing people,” she said. “They’re leaving their lives, families, jobs, and comforts of home. They’re so happy to go down to help and make a difference.”