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Virginia Red Cross sends first hurricane Fiona damage relief volunteer to Puerto Rico

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Gregory Diaz departed from the Richmond International Airport at 6:30 this morning on a flight to Puerto Rico. Diaz — one of the numerous volunteers with the American Red Cross — is traveling to assist with Hurricane Fiona relief efforts.

Hurricane Fiona made landfall in Puerto Rico on Sunday, Sept. 21. The crews on-site said the storm dumped roughly two feet of rain onto the island, flooding rivers and washing out neighborhoods and bridges.

This is Diaz’s fourth deployment for the American Red Cross, but for him, this trip hits home. Diaz is from Puerto Rico, and his mother still lives there.

“She is doing well,” Diaz said. “She said it was nothing like Maria. There was just water, torrential downpour, and some flooding in one of her rooms. The concern now is no power, no water.”

Once he arrives, Diaz will be stationed in logistics, providing organization to the resources and helping the millions of people affected by Fiona.

“Basically, you’re filling up shelters and equipment with water and food. Then you’re supplying wherever there is a chain,” Diaz explained. “It’s like grocery stores that have the main warehouse for supplies, and so do we, and we distribute to our shelters.”

Diaz might be the first Red Cross volunteer from Virginia to help with the Fiona relief efforts, but he has hopes that he won’t be the last.

“I hope more people open up to things like this because if we don’t, who will?” Diaz said.

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