The American Red Cross in Aiken County continues to send people around the country to assist victims following natural disasters.
John Madrid, disaster program manager with the Aiken County Red Cross, said volunteers will often be sent to areas before a natural disaster hits if it is known ahead of time what places are most likely to be affected.
Dale Couch, with Aiken County Red Cross, was sent to Morgan City, Louisiana, near Baton Rouge, just prior to the landfall of Tropical Storm Barry. He served as a shelter coordinator.
Couch arrived to the area on July 11, where he oversaw the setup of a shelter for those in the area who would have to evacuate their home.
Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards declared a state of emergency on July 10 as the storm neared the coast. Barry made landfall in Louisiana on July 12, bringing with it heavy rain that caused waters to surge, leading to severe flooding in many areas around the state.
Some families were forced to evacuate their homes after the storm hit the area, but Couch said the numbers were fairly low.
"I'm not sure how many people altogether were affected by the storm here, but there is a fair amount of damage to many homes," Couch said. "We opened a shelter here where I am, but thankfully there were not many people who had to come to seek shelter – many people were able to stay in their residences."
Once the shelter was cleared, Couch teamed up with with around 12 other Red Cross volunteers in the area to assist those families whose homes had been damaged following the storm. They spent their days bringing fresh water, food and other necessary items to people affected by the storm, Couch said.
Many people also were without power for a few days following the storm
Entergy and Cleco, energy companies in Louisiana, reported more than 100,000 people were still without power on July 14.
"Luckily, I'd say the storm did not cause as much damage and problems as it could have," Couch said.
Couch is scheduled to remain in Louisiana until July 29, when he will to return to Aiken.
During his time in the area, Couch took some pictures of of the damage he observed, noting the issue Louisiana faces each time a hurricane or tropical storm hits the state.
"That part of the country is pretty well-prepared for things like hurricanes and tropical storms, due to how often they hit those areas," Madrid said.
Couch has been busy volunteering his time with the American Red Cross, traveling to Arkansas in June to assist families following severe flooding in the state.
Rusty Hutson, with Aiken County Red Cross, was also sent to the state as a mechanic for emergency vehicles, Madrid said.