UPDATE (WQOW) - A Red Cross volunteer who weathered the storm in the Virgin Islands is back home, after the Caribbean was rocked by two hurricanes earlier this month.
Luong Huynh finally made it back to the Chippewa Valley Thursday after spending two weeks on the storm ravaged island of Saint Croix.
He said the islands are in rough shape, and some areas might not even get electricity back until December.
Huynh was initially deployed south to help out following Hurricane Irma, but was greeted by another hurricane, Maria, when he got there.
"It was certainly a little scary," Huynh said. "I mean, I'd never been through a hurricane before in my life, and certainly having your first hurricane be a category five is certainly worrisome a bit."
Huynh said there is still a lot of work to be done in the Virgin Islands, and other areas impacted by the hurricanes. If you are interested in donating to the Red Cross, click here.
UPDATE (WQOW) - An Eau Claire man is helping prepare the Virgin Islands for the second hurricane in just two weeks.
Luong Huynh left Eau Claire September 11.
He told News 18 over the phone he is amazed by people's generosity and strength, like one woman he helped named Nelda.
He said by getting to know the woman, he found out she had no resources and her only support was someone in Houston. It took three days, but then an anonymous donor came forward with $1,500 to get Nelda to the mainland, where she is now safe.
Huynh said the island he is on didn't get too much damage from Irma, and with Hurricane Maria at their doorstep, they're keeping their spirits high.
"Everybody's been very resilient, everybody's been super helpful to their neighbor, and it really is a 'We are all in this together' kind of mentality, and it is just another storm to them," Huynh said.
Huynh said many people are still without food and water and could be for several days or weeks to come. He said your donation to the Red Cross is greatly appreciated to help keep up with demand.
Posted September 11, 2017:
Altoona (WQOW) - A local Red Cross volunteer is packing his bags Monday night to help with the Hurricane Irma relief efforts.
Luong Huynh is flying to the Virgin Islands Tuesday at 6:30 a.m. He will spend at least three weeks helping local residents in St. Croix. Huynh hopes to provide comfort to those in need.
"Really, we just want to be there to provide any comfort and material support that we can in the immediate for their immediate emergency needs but then also be there to support them as their long term recovery starts," Huynh said.
Hurricane Irma was a category five hurricane when it hit the Virgin Islands.