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Two eastern North Carolina representatives deploy to Kentucky following tornado devastation

Michael Thompson deploys to Kentucky to assist in tornado destruction recovery efforts.
Michael Thompson deploys to Kentucky to assist in tornado destruction recovery efforts.(Maddie Kerth)
Published: Dec. 12, 2021 at 2:56 PM EST
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RALEIGH, N.C. (WITN) - The American Red Cross Eastern North Carolina Region has two volunteers deploying to Kentucky to support victims of the weekend’s tornado devastation.

One representative is based in New Hanover County. The other is based in Franklin County.

Michael Thompson of New Hanover will act as a government operations liaison as many agencies work with the Red Cross.

In the East, residents face threats of hurricane destruction where there is often time to prepare.

“I live on the coast of North Carolina so we’re used to hurricanes down our way, and they are a well-advertised event,” said the Red Cross representative. “They don’t sneak up on you.”

But for tornadoes, Thompson explains, it is the opposite. “There is little to no notice sometimes,” he said.

Kentucky governor Andy Beshear anticipates the death toll in the state to surpass 100 victims.

As Thompson prepares for his trip to the scene, he shares how North Carolinians can help.

“They do have a need for blood. There are a lot of injured folks here in this particular disaster,” Thompson told WITN. “If you can and are willing to donate blood, reach out to your local Red Cross chapter. I’m sure they have plenty of information for you.”

According to Thompson, the Red Cross is aware of the ongoing threat of COVID-19 and its variants.

To ensure the safety of their volunteers and staff, as well as the victims they are there to support, the organization is only deploying fully vaccinated individuals and will be utilizing masks.

The North Carolina team is expected to arrive in Kentucky by Monday night to receive their assignments.

“Keep all these folks in your prayers, your thoughts, and if you can donate, please donate,” urged Thompson. “It could be your community next time. But just know that if it is, the Red Cross will be there to help you.”

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