Kennewick Couple Waits On Standby To See If They Are Needed To Help With Gustav - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Kennewick Couple Waits On Standby To See If They Are Needed To Help With Gustav

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KENNEWICK, Wash. - As people in the Southeast part of the country prepare for Hurricane Gustav volunteers from Washington State are headed down to help.

One volunteer from the Benton Franklin County Red Cross is headed down and Friday night a Kennewick couple was on stand by.

Eleanor and Jim Opitz have been volunteering with the red cross for years. They have helped with fires, floods and hurricanes across the country.  

They are not sure if or when they will be called to help but said they're ready. 

Jim Opitz said they get so much satisfaction out of helping people in distress.  They only go to volunteer if they are able to go together. 

Jim said when he was helping with Hurricane Katrina someone put a 20 dollar bill inside one of the vehicles with a note that said thank God for the help of the Red Cross.  Jim said this person touched his heart forever. 

He said, "This persons house was washed away and he left us, the Red Cross, 20 dollars.  It's a story I'll never forget."

The Opitz will know within the next few days if their help is needed down south.

Once they get there they will probably be handing out hot meals.

Gustav has the potential of becoming a major hurricane next week. 

As of Friday night, there are 29 volunteers from Washington assigned to the Gulf Coast to help.

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