Maine Red Cross Team of Five Heading to Hurricane Ravaged Puerto Rico

By Ricker, NokNoi | Bangor Daily News (Bangor, ME), September 25, 2017 | Go to article overview

Maine Red Cross Team of Five Heading to Hurricane Ravaged Puerto Rico


Ricker, NokNoi, Bangor Daily News (Bangor, ME)


Five Mainers with the Red Cross are heading to Puerto Rico to help in the wake of Hurricanes Irma and Maria, which wiped out much of the island's infrastructure.

Darlene Helms of Hampden, the team leader, had recently returned from two weeks in Texas, where she helped out after Hurricane Harvey. The Red Cross volunteers are saying for longer-than-usual deployments and they expect to face difficult conditions.

"This is a three-week assignment," Helms said on Monday shortly after boarding a plane for Atlanta, where an orientation will be held before the team is sent to the Caribbean island on either Tuesday or Wednesday. "We're taking water purifiers and sleeping bags."

The Maine team will not know its assignment until it arrives, but Helms expects members will be handing out water and supplies like she did in Texas.

Anne Heminway of Phippsburg, Victoria White of Lewiston, Crystal Abbott of Alfred and Jim Kerrigan of Old Orchard Beach are also part of the Red Cross mobile strike team. White did not leave with the team on Monday, but is expected to join them shortly or she may deploy with another team, according to spokeswoman Ann Kim.

Puerto Rico Resident Commissioner Jenniffer Gonzalez said the devastation from the storms "has set us back nearly 20 to 30 years."

At least 10 people in Puerto Rico have died from Maria, which includes two police officers who drowned in floodwaters in the town of Aguada. …

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