Knox Red Cross volunteers mark Superstorm Sandy anniversary

Knox Red Cross volunteers mark one year anniversary of Superstorm Sandy

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As Sandy made landfall, thousands of Red Cross volunteers across the country prepared to spring into action. Among them was longtime local volunteer Marty Gensheimer. (source: Marty Gensheimer) As Sandy made landfall, thousands of Red Cross volunteers across the country prepared to spring into action. Among them was longtime local volunteer Marty Gensheimer. (source: Marty Gensheimer)
"When we arrived, there was a lot of chaos. A lot of power was out, and the street lights weren't working and the traffic lights weren't working," said Marty Gensheimer. "When we arrived, there was a lot of chaos. A lot of power was out, and the street lights weren't working and the traffic lights weren't working," said Marty Gensheimer.
"They were so excited and glad to see reinforcements coming," said volunteer Naomi Caudle. "They were so excited and glad to see reinforcements coming," said volunteer Naomi Caudle.

By DREW GARDNER
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - It's been one year since Superstorm Sandy ravaged the northeast, and life is slowly beginning to get back to normal for those effected.

As Sandy made landfall, thousands of Red Cross volunteers across the country prepared to spring into action. Among them was longtime local volunteer Marty Gensheimer.

"When we arrived, there was a lot of chaos. A lot of power was out, and the street lights weren't working and the traffic lights weren't working," said Gensheimer.

"They were so excited and glad to see reinforcements coming," said volunteer Naomi Caudle.

Caudle was working at a shelter in New Jersey after the storm.

"I'm from Florida, so I'm kind of used to seeing hurricane damage, but there was an excessive amount in that area just due to the massive population there," said Caudle.

The weather also made relief efforts difficult.

"The Nor'easter came in and dumped six or eight inches of snow," said Gensheimer. "We actually got grounded and couldn't get our vehicles out for a day."

Gensheimer was operating one of about 100 feeding vehicles in Long Island.

"We were trying to dispense hot meals, and people would come up to our truck and get a hot meal, and they'd say 'I haven't had a hot meal in several days'," said Caudle. "One person said five days."

Each volunteer spent about two weeks in the region, and while they admit it was grueling, they say it was worth it.

"I was glad I went," said Gensheimer. "They certainly needed a lot of help."

"I've always been taught to lend a helping hand, and every time I go out on one of these disasters, it reiterates that to me as 'look at the world around you and see what you can do to help'," added Caudle.

Each says they would do it again in a heartbeat.

In all, the Knoxville chapter of the Red Cross sent more than 100 volunteers throughout the entire Sandy relief effort.

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