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Local volunteers in Massachusetts

August 27, 2011 9:00:00 PM PDT
Several local Red Cross volunteers are helping with clean up efforts out East. Larry Coats is in Dedham, Massachusetts, which is just outside Boston. He'll be driving an emergency response vehicle. On Sunday the weather prevented him front getting to the front lines. However, he says compared to some other areas, Dedham came out relatively unscathed. Larry started work today and so far the damage he's seen is minimal, "We had 60-70 mile per hour winds. The rain in the Boston area has been about 2-3 inches and when compared to a lot of other areas that isn't all that much."

There was enough bad weather to keep him off the roads on Sunday. He drives an emergency response vehicle or erv and he wasn't allowed to travel because of the winds and rain," I haven't seen any trees down , the lights flickered on and off a bit, but we didn't lose power so we really haven't seen anything."

Coats expects to be deployed for two weeks and he says he'll be doing a number of different jobs, "We're not one dimensional. We are trained in a lot of areas like client assessment and bulk distribution. There are a lot more facets if you will to the red cross than people think."

Coats has volunteered with the Red Cross for about five years. He helped after the flooding in North Dakota and in the aftermath of hurricanes Ike and Earl. Even though each disaster is different there is one constant, " It is very rewarding to help, to alleviate some of the burden they are under."

Larry expects to be driving between three shelters in the Boston area starting Monday. He'll be helping re-stock supplies and food. He thinks he may be moved into Western Massachusetts to help with clean up efforts there. That part of the state was hit harder than where he is now.


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