Local Volunteers Head To East Coast For Clean Up

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Two Rim Country residents have headed to the East Coast to help with Hurricane Sandy cleanup efforts.

Roger Kreimeyer, of Beaver Valley, flew out several weeks ago, working as a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) employee and Strawberry’s Barbara Brandt headed out Nov. 15, working with the Red Cross.

Kreimeyer said Tuesday he is working in Kingston, N.Y., an area devastated by flooding when the Hudson River overtook its banks.

Kreimeyer said homes and businesses sustained significant damage, many basements still flooded and homeowners unable to return home.

Kreimeyer is working as a community relations specialist, going door-to-door to meet with residents and explain what aid is available.

He said while the damage is not as bad as that seen on the coast, it is still extensive.

“We hear horrendous stories about how the storm hit and how they underestimated it,” he said, noting the storm was 1,000 miles wide at times.

Kreimeyer, who started Payson’s Community Food Drive and Community Garden, said the work has been rewarding.

“When you are out there, anything you can do to bring hope to somebody, just talking to them and that you care,” he said. “And they are just glad you care.”

The American Red Cross Grand Canyon Chapter deployed Brandt last week to North Brunswick, N.J. to work in staff services for the next two to three weeks.

Brandt serves as a disaster action team member with the Red Cross in Payson, having volunteered since 1985. She has been deployed to about 30 disasters, most notably the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

About 8,800 Red Cross workers, including 22 from the Grand Canyon Chapter, have supported relief efforts.

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