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Volunteers from across country rushing to Louisiana to help

Posted at 6:02 PM, Aug 15, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-15 21:30:06-04

Volunteers from across the country, including Tucson, are rushing to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, to help the tens of thousands of flood victims there.

“I'm looking forward to getting there and getting busy and helping people out,” explained Red Cross volunteer Eric Vimmersted. Vimmerstedt and fellow volunteer Brian Larson left Tucson for Baton Rouge Monday afternoon.

They're driving an Emergency Response Vehicle, a specialized box truck that can both haul needed supplies around a disaster.

“There is plenty of room in here for supplies we might need to provide assistance to the folks that are involved in the disaster,” Vimmerstedt said.

Inside, large red containers can hold hot meals for victims as well as other volunteers and first responders already there. The men estimate they can serve 700- 800 people each day from the ERV.

“We catch a little whimper of a breath now and then but it is going be 12-13 hour days.” Vimmerstedt says he is familiar with the work load- he helped when floods hit Austin, Texas, last year.

But this is Larson's first deployment, “I enjoy doing it. You get satisfaction out of helping people and most of them are very thankful there are people to do this type of thing.”

It's a more than 20 hour drive from Tucson to Baton Rouge the men expect to arrive Wednesday. 

They're scheduled to be there two weeks but they could be asked to stay longer.

The situation there is so serious local Red Cross officials say they expect they’ll be asked to send even more volunteers.