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Billings woman helps hurricane victims after Florence devastates the east coast

Posted at 8:58 PM, Sep 20, 2018
and last updated 2019-07-17 14:51:37-04

COLUMBIA, S.C. – As of Thursday, the death toll from Hurricane Florence has risen to 36 and those working to help after the devastation say there is much more to be done.

Helping in the recovery is a Billings woman on a mission with the American Red Cross of Montana.

Abbra Firman arrived in Richmond, Va. on Sept. 12 and will stay in the devastated area until early October.

However, on Thursday she flew to Columbia, S.C., reassigned to help victims in that area. She spoke to Q2 News by phone.

She said the need has shifted. There is a lot of damage and flooding in the Carolinas, trees are down and roads are filled with water.

“Right now we are just making sure that people have a safe place to stay food in their stomachs,” she said.

Firman said her primary mission is to stage supplies and food for victims of the flooding and storms as well as make sure there is a safe shelter.

While in Virginia, Firman said the area was devastated with flooding and even tornadoes although Florence never actually made landfall.

She is also working with other agencies.

“Working with our other community partners to make sure that as people go home that roads are starting to be cleared and waters are going down,” said Firman.

This isn’t the first time she’s been deployed to a natural disaster; Firman was in New York city just 10 days after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in 2001.

Firman wants her fellow Montanans to know that if they want to help, giving cash donations to the Red Cross is the best way.

Related: Storm-ravaged Carolinas brace for even more Florence flooding

Related: Carolinas still menaced by floodwaters as Trump tours Florence ‘nightmare’ aftermath