Hurricane Irene: Stateliners Sent to Help

By: Meghan Dwyer
By: Meghan Dwyer

ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- Lots of people headed to the east coast last weekend in the wake of Hurricane Irene.

You might be surprised to know how many of them are locals.

C.J. Scaminachi hasn't slept in four straight days. He and another paramedic from ATS medical services left Loves Park on Friday morning and drove thirteen hours to New York.

Scaminachi said, "We were evacuating people in anticipation of the low-lying areas flooding."

His crew moved 142 people to safety in hospitals in Brooklyn and Queens. More than twenty people from Rockford, Freeport, and the quad cities left Illinois this weekend for the east coast. The goal was to prepare for the worst but hope for the best.

The Red Cross says the biggest problem now is dealing with the after effects of the storm. A few people in the Rockford region are still waiting to be sent out. In the days before the storm 250 emergency response vehicles were dispatched to the east coast. That’s every single Red Cross vehicle east of the Rocky Mountains.

The Rockford Fire Department has sent one of its chiefs to Connecticut this week to help clean up. More than thirteen thousand volunteers were on hand last weekend.

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