Plans were still fluid this morning at the Red Cross office in South Bend. The staff was in the middle of booking airline tickets, and more volunteers could end up going, Pinter said. The volunteers will head to staging areas in North Carolina, New York and Massachusetts.
Meanwhile, Indiana Michigan Power is sending about 100 of its forestry workers — half leaving today to aid Virginia Dominion Power and half leaving Saturday to help Northeast Utilities, said spokeswoman Marta Elliott. They’ll help clear trees and limbs that would fall and interfere with electrical lines.
Also, Elliott said, about 50 linemen and distribution workers with their bucket trucks and other equipment are leaving Saturday to aid the two utility firms, along with about 50 private contractors from Asplundh.
They are going regardless of predictions for the storm, she said, adding, "If they don’t need us, we’ll come back."
All of the workers come from Indiana Michigan Power’s service area, a region that includes Benton Harbor, Fort Wayne, South Bend, Elkhart and Muncie.
It’s one of seven companies across the country that are part of American Electric Power, all of which sending crews, Elliott said.