Red Cross prepares as Hurricane Matthew heads for U.S.

Photo: NOAA
PHOTO: Hurricane Matthew in the Caribbean Sea, Photo Date: 10/3/2016 - Photo: NOAA
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PARKERSBURG, W.Va.-(WTAP) Forecasters are calling Hurricane Matthew the most powerful storm to hit the U.S. mainland in eleven years. Even stronger than Superstorm Sandy just four years ago.

The Red Cross of Northwestern West Virginia already has sent one person to the Southeast in advance of the storm's arrival, with more on standby.

"We have at least a dozen people on standby," says Sharon Kesselring, Executive Director. "Those numbers are going to increase as we get better information, so we are able to plan the response much better that way."

The Mid-Ohio Valley Regional Airport said Wednesday morning the approaching storm, so far, has not affected just-inaugurated VIA Air flights to North Carolina. Those flights arrive in Charlotte, located farther inland.

"While it looks like the brunt of the storm will hit Florida," Kesselring says, "but the Carolina coast isn't out of the woods yet. So we're watching very carefully, and currently supporting those emergency management agencies in the different states and counties to see they have the Red Cross support they need."

While the Carolinas and Florida evacuate, it's a matter of watching, and waiting.

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