Central Florida volunteers head to Texas, Louisiana to help during Hurricane Laura

Storm expected to strengthen into major hurricane before landfall

Kathy Burkett and Sammy Conneen are volunteers with the American Red Cross of Central Florida. On Tuesday, the two got on a plane to Texas to help ahead of Hurricane Laura.
Kathy Burkett and Sammy Conneen are volunteers with the American Red Cross of Central Florida. On Tuesday, the two got on a plane to Texas to help ahead of Hurricane Laura.

ORLANDO, Fla. – Kathy Burkett and Sammy Conneen are volunteers with the American Red Cross of Central Florida. On Tuesday, the two got on a plane to Texas to help ahead of Hurricane Laura.

“I’m in go mode. This is what I do. This is what I prepare for all year. What we train for,” Burkett said.

The two said they have plans to assist as much as they can as soon as they hit the ground.

"I'll be moving on to Louisiana in a separate group to be able to provide services," Burkett said.

The National Hurricane Center expects Hurricane Laura to strengthen into a major hurricane before it reaches landfall between Texas and Louisiana.

[LIVE TRACK: Turbocharging Laura could strike US as Category 3 hurricane]

Conneen, who's been volunteering for six years, said she's been in Texas for other natural disasters.

"I have to say they got some serious lightning and wind. They really know when someone says get ready. They get ready. They brace for it," she said.

Even with the pandemic, the two explained things will be different but that won't stop them from giving a helping hand.

“I know that if it was us they’d be coming to help us so it’s our turn to help them,” Conneen said.


About the Author:

Ezzy Castro is a multimedia journalist on News 6's morning team who has a passion for telling the stories of the people in the Central Florida community. Ezzy worked at WFOR CBS4 in South Florida and KBMT in Beaumont, Texas, where she covered Hurricane Harvey in 2017. Being from Miami, Ezzy loves Cuban coffee and croquetas!