Red Cross stays busy after severe weather, tornadoes pound the Piedmont

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When disaster strikes in the Piedmont, volunteers like Tom Dunn get to work.

“We feel good about getting in there and being able to help right away,” said Dunn, a disaster program specialist for the American Red Cross of the Piedmont Triad.

He says the past few weeks of tornadoes and back-to-back storms have been tough on volunteers.

"It's been rough," he said.

Executive Director John Hughes says the EF-1 tornado which ripped through Eden on May 5th was just the beginning.

“A total of 10 cases out of that 32 people that we've assisted from that event,” Hughes said.

Another tornado on May 24th, which destroyed parts of Davie, Yadkin, and Stokes counties, was another major blow.

About 16 families needed help, many lost their homes.

“One of the ladies was badly injured,” Dunn said. “We had people that had disabilities that were trapped.”

Hughes says they're keeping up with demand, but it's not easy.

“We've had so many storms,” Hughes said.

“It creates an additional stress on the volunteers.”

The non-profit says it's in need of volunteers year-round but now more than ever.

"You can't stretch people too thin,” Hughes said. “We all need rest."

Even with about 75 to 100 volunteers in the Piedmont, Dunn says more help is needed.

“The weather is not giving us a break at the moment,” Dunn said. “Having more volunteers helps dramatically.”

For more information on how to volunteer with the American Red Cross, go to their website.

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