MOLINE, Ill. — Hurricane Ian became a Category 4 storm early Wednesday morning before it began devastating Florida's southwest coast, pouring heavy rains and winds along with a destructive storm surge.
Despite more than 2.5 million people being under mandatory evacuation orders, many are choosing to remain home and brave the calamitous storm.
More than 190,000 homes were without power prior to landfall Wednesday morning. There's also concern that the heavy rains will cause the more than 1 billion tons of radioactive waste yielded from Florida's phosphate fertilizer mining industry to overflow onto surrounding land.
Though the state of Florida has more than 30,000 linemen, urban search and rescue teams, and 7,000 National Guard troops from Florida ready to help, the impacted areas will greatly require outside assistance at both federal and state levels.
Even 1000 miles away in the Quad Cities, local organizations and companies are hoping to do what they can to alleviate storm damage.
Here's a list of Quad City organizations and businesses contributing to Hurricane Ian relief efforts:
MidAmerican Energy is leading the local efforts to support those affected by Hurricane Ian. A MidAmerican emergency response team departed from TBK Bank Sports Complex in Bettendorf early Wednesday morning to assist with anticipated Hurricane Ian restoration efforts, according to a news release.
The emergency response team consists of 80 employees who volunteered for the assignment, including 66 line workers and 15 support employees, as well as utility trucks and equipment.
"We know from experience how important it is for a utility to get help quickly when disaster strikes," John Guy, MidAmerican vice president of electric delivery, said. "We’re pleased that we can provide that help to another utility and its customers when they need it most.”
MidAmerican's support was directly requested by Atlanta-based Georgia Power. The team will establish a staging location in Chattanooga, Tennessee, then depart for assignments in affected areas as needed. They will provide support to the region for the next two weeks.
ImpactLife is shipping Type O red blood cells to affected regions, according to a news release from the not-for-profit blood services organization.
As the storms wipe electricity out across Florida, power outages will prevent blood donation to take place. Hospitals and blood providers will require ImpactLife's assistance in order to maintain the blood supply in affected regions.
American Red Cross volunteer Dean Otta from the south central Illinois chapter of the Illinois region is on standby to deploy to Florida to join the efforts of hundreds of Red Cross volunteers, according to a news release.
You can help people affected by disasters like storms and countless other crises by making a gift to Red Cross Disaster Relief. Your gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small. Visit redcross.org or call 800-RED-CROSS to make a donation.
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