Red Cross volunteers from Mid-MO on the road to Florida

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JEFFERSON CITY - Red Cross volunteers from mid-Missouri are currently on their way to Florida to help with Hurricane Irma. 

The disaster program manager for Central and Northern Missouri, Kath Mayne, said they sent off three emergency response vehicles with water, snacks and supplies on Wednesday. Among the volunteers are three men from Jefferson City, Columbia and Mexico. 

The group will station themselves in Tallahassee Friday night to wait out the storm. John Mathews, a volunteer from Mexico, said they had to change plans frequently because of how full the hotels are. 

"We thought we were heading down into Florida when we started," he said.

Mathews said by the time the group got close to Albany, Georgia on Wednesday night, the group recieved orders to stop where they were and find a place to stay. 

He said many utility trucks were also on the road taking up the most space at the hotels. The volunteers ended up driving an hour out of their way to find a hotel outside of Auburn.

The group also had trouble finding gas near as they passed Albany.  

"We literally passed four stations that had no room for us to turn in. There were so many cars in those stations," Mathews said.

He said they later found out it was the last station that currently has gas as they head toward Tallahassee. 

"We are bracing for the worst, but hoping for the best," he said. 

"We need lots more volunteers all the time. When we deploy, volunteers go for two weeks at least, which is quite the committment," Mayne said. 

Mayne said The Central and Northern Missouri Red Cross will host another training session in Columbia on Saturday morning from 9 a.m. to noon at Community Methodist on West Broadway. 

To sign up to volunteer or donate to the Red Cross, visit redcross.org.

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