Local crews gear up to meet Sandy up East coast

Hurricane Sandy
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News 12 at 11 o'clock / Monday, Oct. 29, 2012

AIKEN, S.C.-- Some local crews are ready to respond to damage left behind by Sandy. Some are heading there, others have already left.

It's being called a major mobilization of crews. We're talking anyone from North Augusta paramedics to Augusta-Aiken Red Cross volunteers to power crews.

All of them say they are ready, come what may, in this historic storm.

Red Cross volunteer Jerry George is just waiting for the call.

"I'm not sure when I'm going, not sure if I'm going, but I'd certainly like to," George said.

Brandon Gary waits too.

"I really want to do this to the point that I don't mind taking my own car, spending my own money for travels," he said.

For now, they pack up getting ready to meet Sandy and she's a fickle one.

"There is that slight anticipation, you know, it's your first time, you are not quite sure what to expect," Gary said.

Over at Aiken Electric, power crews already know what to expect, they're there.

VP of Operations Dan Garman told News 12, "We deployed one four-man crew, and they were in three trucks."

Crews are now in Virginia, weathering the storm.

"They know how to do the work, you know, that's not an issue. It's really the environment that they have to work in," Garman said.

It's the same environment paramedics from Capital City ambulance are in, too.

Crews left early Monday and News 12 caught up with Amy McNeeley and Carin Brassel via Web cam.

"We're now in Richmond, Va., for the night, going to get a good night sleep and a shower and a meal and they'll deploy us in the morning," they said.

They spoke to News 12 through rain and wind, conditions that are anything but favorable for a road trip.

"We drove through the night and through the day and we were diverted around 5 o'clock because there were several bridges closed," Brassel said.

But, with determination like this, not even Sandy's powerful punch is enough to stop them.

"We hope we can do something in our field and help the community," Brassel said.

"You now, I really have a passion to help those in need," Gary said.

"We are right there making a difference right there and seeing the effects of my work," George said.

As for those Red Cross volunteers, we're told it is not a matter of if but more like when they will be sent. It really depends on the progress and intensity of the storm.

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