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St. Louis sends help to blizzard buried Northeast

11:02 PM, Feb 8, 2013   |    comments
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St. Louis (KSDK) -- As places like Boston get beat down, St. Louis is stepping up to help out.

"It really is about a community coming together and helping each other," said Cindy Erickson of the American Red Cross.

She explained that volunteers from here are still there sending relief from Superstorm Sandy.

"And if it does get larger in the northeast with the snow storm and they need to call down additional volunteers further toward the midwest, then St. Louis will definitely be a market they'll be tapping into," Erickson went on to say.

"The biggest concern that I would have if I were sitting in the operations center at a utility back east is not so much the snow, but it's the high winds," said Mike Marx of Ameren Illinois.

Both Ameren Illinois and Missouri have already lent a hand.  In all, they've freed up 110 contractors - linemen and tree crews - who can head east.  And if it's something like Sandy, they'll send more.

"When we deploy off property, we're basically sending a self contained unit, so that when we arrived in New Jersey, we weren't a burden on their already overloaded team," Marx added.

"It hasn't been bad here at Lambert even though we've had cancellations on the board since mid morning," said Jeff Lea, a spokesman for Lambert St. Louis International Airport.

Roughly 30 of the 500 flights set to go in an out of St. Louis Friday were cancelled.  Airport officials said more than 4,000 nationwide were taken out of mix.  But it hasn't been bad because lately airlines, too, have had practice.

"It's very obvious they're trying to get out in front of it and then wait and see what the repercussions are of that storm and then come in afterwards and try to get flights back in once those airports can open," Lea explained.

So, what about you? How can you help? Well, the folks at the American Red Cross say their offices along the east coast had to cancel over 50 blood drives because of the storm, so if you can, get out and donate blood in the St. Louis area.










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