(KMSP) - The system known as Hurricane Florence is now a tropical depression carrying relentless, life-threatening rainfall. While the storm has calmed, its threats are far from over, which is why volunteers aren't waiting for the rain to pass before extending help.
Some organizations like the Red Cross have been in cities across the southeast for days, already starting the relief efforts.
One of those volunteers includes Judy Schotzko of Northfield, Minn., who Fox 9 caught up with last week ahead of Florence’s landfall.
Now, as many brace for massive flooding along the coast, Schotzko brings us the latest from her side.
“What we’ve been doing since is getting prepared for the people we expect to come in the next few days when the rain and the flooding does come to Danville,” Schotzko said.
Even with the Dan River rising, Schotzko told Fox 9 Sunday there's no place she’d rather be.
“The forecast is that the Dan River will flood 26 feet above flood stage, is my understanding,” she said.
The retired nurse left Wednesday to offer relief to families escaping the rising waters in Virginia.
“What we are prepared to do is accept families who will have to leave their homes,” Schotzko said.
At the Vance Street Missionary Baptist Church in Danville, Schotzko waits, ready with tables, food and cots. She and other Red Cross volunteers stationed there are only 10 minutes from the North Carolina border.
“It has dumped nearly two feet or more of rain in many places,” North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper said.
North Carolina is where the brunt of the rain falls, causing massive flooding with a chance for landslides, forcing many to evacuate.
“There has to be a nurse available all the time,” Schotzko said.
Only minutes away from where the Governor says the storm “has never been more dangerous,” Schotzko remains. A total of 56 spirited Red Cross volunteers from Minnesota are working in affected areas across the southeast around the clock.
“The first couple nights we slept on cots. That’s not easy,” she confessed.
That sacrifice, even at the age of 80, is one she doesn’t mind.
“The tiredness will dissipate as you get the people and start helping out,” Schotzko smiled.
Because for the retired Minnesota nurse the mission is about making life easier for those who’ve just lost it all to Florence.
“You want to help someone and make sure that everybody’s okay,” she nodded.