Local Red Cross volunteers head to Puerto Rico to help with Hurricane Maria recovery

PARKERSBURG, WV - Two Red Cross volunteers from the Mid-Ohio Valley are headed to Puerto Rico to help with Hurricane Maria relief efforts.

Maria struck Puerto Rico three weeks ago as a category four hurricane.

Most of the island is still without power, and distribution of supplies at the ports has been an ongoing problem.

Elijah Hostuttler of Wetzel County and Sarah Villers of Wirt County are heading out this week to help with recovery efforts.

For Hostuttler, who leaves on Thursday, the mission is very personal.

"I have not been a volunteer for long. This will be my first deployment with the Red Cross. I grew up here in West Virginia, but my mother is from Puerto Rico. So when the tragedy happened on the island, I just felt the calling to go and help out. So we will be handing out bottled supplies, water, food and providing assistance with mobile cell towers."

Officials say Hostuttler and Villers could be in Puerto Rico for a month or more.

The local Red Cross chapter may also be sending volunteers to California next week to help with wildfire relief.

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