Fargo volunteers head to Florida for Hurricane Ian relief

Published: Sep. 28, 2022 at 1:15 PM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - Hurricane Ian strengthened to a category four storm as it makes landfall in Florida Wednesday. Two Red Cross volunteers from Fargo are currently making their way down to help.

While there is no siren on their vehicle, two Red Cross Volunteers are answering the call for help in Florida. Patty Lindholm has been volunteering for one year while Paul Henke is going on 27 years with the organization.

“I know volunteers who have been to many hurricanes, but now I’ll get to see for myself what this is all about,” said Patty Lindholm, Red Cross volunteer.

Hurricane Ian is expected to be the strongest storm on record to make landfall on the western coast of Florida. Lindholm and Henke will be arriving in Orlando Friday, and they expect to see flooding and power outages.

“It’s strengthening and stuff, so there is going to be a big mess,” said Paul Henke, Red Cross volunteer.

The pair will be volunteering for two weeks, helping deliver food to areas in need. Then, they will fly home and leave the specialized feeding truck for the next group. They’re not typically working with as many people in need, but they know they’ll make a big difference

“I do more local work as well around the Fargo-Moorhead area. And respond to house fires and apartment fires and things like that. We’re appreciated wherever we go,” said Lindholm.

Henke has helped in multiple hurricanes, tornados and floods, going all over the county. For Lindholm, this is only her second time traveling, but both find the work rewarding.

“Even in a bad situation, you can still joke around with people and make them feel a little bit better,” said Henke.

The journey from Fargo to Orlando is 1,789 miles. But there’s no distance too far to keep them from their mission.

There are currently 650 active Red Cross volunteers in the Dakotas Region.