UPDATE: Local crews helping Hurricane Sandy victims
CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) - As many as 38 people have died from North Carolina to Connecticut as a result of Hurricane Sandy. Now, millions remain without power as a cold front pushes east.
Several local agencies have sent crews out to assist storm victims and first responders. Several were in place on the East Coast ahead of the storm. After Monday night's impact, they're all getting to work.
The Chattanooga - Hamilton County Disaster Medical Assistance Team told us its 50 local nurses and doctors are being dispatched throughout different areas of New Jersey to help injured storm victims.
The Tennessee Valley is helping in many different ways and more help could be on the way.
"I was just saying to my partner, this is it," Chattanooga Red Cross volunteer Michael Puryear says.
Puryear says it was a rough night in the D.C. area.
"Constant moments of wind howling, just watching the trees sway and the rain really just blowing and sight was even limited looking out the window," Puryear says.
But they left Chattanooga this weekend on a mission to help.
"We must persevere through this and get the job done," Puryear says.
Tuesday, they were dispatched out to New Brunswick, New Jersey, one of the hardest hit areas.
"Flooding, destruction where houses have been damaged by trees, power lines down," Puryear says.
They're handing out food, water, personal items, and cleanup kits to thousands of storm victims.
They're relaying information back here where volunteers are on standby to join them.
But with closed roads and canceled flights, they, and Chattanooga's Salvation Army, know it may be a few days or even weeks before they can get there to assist.
"We have been preparing our mobile kitchen unit, asking our volunteers that have been trained with disaster relief services what their next couple of weeks look like," Chattanooga's Salvation Army spokesperson, Kimberly George says.
They're doing their best to help from home.
"We have had people from Chattanooga call us and say how can we help? The best way to help is to go online and donate," George says.
EPB may also send more crews later in the week. So far, they have 54 tree and line workers helping various power companies. We're told EPB crews in Baltimore have already been a big help in restoring power to hundreds of thousands of homes.
Ten members of Angel EMS in Catoosa County are also keeping busy, assisting first responders in New Jersey with medical calls. They plan to be there at least a week.
Red Cross volunteers say they'll likely stay at least a couple weeks.
They all say they're honored to represent the Tennessee Valley by showing compassion and lending a helping hand.