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Local Red Cross volunteers head to South Carolina

WBFO News File Photo

Nearly a dozen volunteers from Western New York will be helping victims of South Carolina's historic flooding over the next few weeks. 

Eleven volunteers from places like Amherst, Tonawanda, Wellsville and other areas across the upstate region will be providing support to thousands of flooding victims across South Carolina.

Western and Central New York Region Red Cross Spokesman Jay Bonafede says the volunteers will be dispatched to where they're most needed, noting some will focus on providing basic needs like food, shelter and clothing - others will focus on disaster assessment.

"When it is safe, they'll go out into the field and report back to headquarters, this area has seen severe damage, houses are destroyed, houses are damage, houses are inaccessible," says Bonafede. "Then that will help us determine where and also is it safe to get our vehicles into these areas."

Bonafede says once an area is assessed it helps them determine what other needs residents have.

Volunteers typically spend two to three weeks on assignment.

At least nine people have died in the flooding, thousands have been evacuated and thousands more are without power. There is also a shortage of drinking water.