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Red Cross volunteers join Irene relief efforts

SALISBURY ó Five volunteers from the Elizabeth Hanford Dole Chapter of the American Red Cross are among nearly 50 from the region who have deployed to help with Hurricane Irene relief efforts.
Deborah Lineberger, emergency services specialist for the Dole Chapter, said they are: Marcus Lineberger, deployed to Long Island, N.Y., as a supervisor in bulk distribution of supplies, food, cleanup kits and other items; Monica Bruns and Craig Hatley, who are performing damage assessment in Wilson; and Bill Hayes and Tim Norman, who are helping with bulk distribution along the North Carolina coast.
Cabarrus County sent six volunteers, a Red Cross press release said.
The Red Cross is providing relief to the thousands of people affected by the storm. More than 500 North Carolina residents stayed in a Red Cross shelter Wednesday night. Since Friday, the agency has provided more than 7,000 overnight shelter stays in North Carolina.
Red Cross volunteers performing damage assessment have found nearly 3,700 North Carolina homes destroyed. An additional 90,000 homes across the state sustained some level of damage. Those numbers are expected to grow as assessment continues.
ěThis is a big disaster across multiple states, and the response will cost millions,î said Angela Broome, chief executive officer of the Carolina Piedmont Region of the American Red Cross.
In addition to financial donations to the Red Cross disaster relief fund, the agency is asking people to donate blood and platelets. Hurricane Irene forced the cancellation of more than 82 blood drives along the East Coast, resulting in a shortfall of 2,800 units of blood. More blood drives will probably be postponed in the coming days due to storm damage and power outages.
Visit www.redcross.org to give money, find out where to give blood or volunteer. Money can also be donated by texting REDCROSS to 90999. More information is available by calling 1-800-733 2767.

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