Red Cross Volunteers Heading South to Help Weather Victims Including Colleagues

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - The Alabama Emergency Management Agency confirmed the storms that swept through the state on Christmas Day became deadly, as of Wednesday.

The agency released a statement saying an 81-year-old man who lived in Butler County died from injuries he suffered when a tree fell on his home.

EMA officials said the Georgiana resident was in bed at the time and was found the next morning, taken to a hospital, and later died.

That was the second time in a week that Southern Alabama ended up in the target of severe weather kicked up from other storm systems.

Tornadoes ripped through last week, slamming American Red Cross resources.

On Thursday, local volunteers headed down to Mobile to help victims, including some of their own.

It was one more hit by Mother Nature before the end of the year.

"We've named this Alabama Tornadoes of 2012," said Emergency Services Specialist Brenda McCray of the Madison County Chapter.  She said the storms slammed into the Red Cross' building and disaster services trailers in Mobile.

That chapter sent out a call for help from other chapters and Madison County responded, sending two volunteers and Huntsville's only ERV or emergency repsonse vehicle.

"We get to help our own," said McCray.  "That's really exciting."

But that's only part of the story.

The regional chapter of the American Red Cross reports severe weather on Christmas Day left its mark on more than 250 homes, destroying 15 of them and doing major damage to 56 more.

So in addition to helping their fellow Red Cross volunteers, the two disaster services personnel from Huntsville will also assist in helping many others.

"Majority of the times when they get there, they will be doing mass care, which includes feeding, boat distribution, any items that the clients may need in that area," said McCray.

She added local Red Cross resources are thin right now because so many of them are stationed in New York and New Jersey, still helping victims of Hurricane Sandy.

If you'd like to help, the Red Cross is asking for financial help.

You can go by their office on Washington Avenue and drop off a check or make a donation here.