Indiana volunteers mobilize to help with Hurricane Sandy

Red Cross contingent from Indiana bound for Pa.

INDIANAPOLIS - With Hurricane Sandy churning toward the East Coast, help from Indiana is on the way.

American Red Cross disaster volunteers are on the road to assist with what could be a long recovery once the storm makes landfall.

The storm has already ripped through the Caribbean, killing more than 40 people. Now off the coast of the Carolinas, Sandy could deliver a potent punch to the northeastern U.S.

Volunteers from Indianapolis mobilized for what could be a two- to three-week mission to help in the recovery effort.

"We're heading into Harrisburg, Pa., and that's the staging area. The storm's not supposed to hit until Monday night or early Tuesday," said responder Frank Kominowski. "There will be a lot of these (emergency response) vehicles there, and they'll send us out where we're needed."

The hurricane's center is currently projected to strike the coast around southern New Jersey and then weaken as it moves into New England.

The Red Cross considers Sandy a dangerous storm on many levels. It could bring extreme flooding, downed power lines and trees and potentially blizzard conditions over the Great Lakes.

Jan Ferland, of Noblesville, has spent the last 15 years with the Red Cross, responding to disasters across the U.S., and knows what brings immediate problems during and after a hurricane.

"A lot of flooding is the most concern to me. I'm hoping we won't get the winds, and I'm hoping that people go to the shelters," Ferland said.

With millions of people in the heavily populated northeast in the path of the storm, preparations are under way for what could be the worst October storm in a generation, with estimates of more than $1 billion in damage.

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