LONG BEACH, N.Y. (WWLP) - It has been more than two weeks since Superstorm Sandy hit the Northeast. More than 80 people died, most of whom were in New York; a region that is still struggling with power outages and finding shelter for the many now-homeless residents.
But thousands of people have made the trip to the area to help, and volunteers from western Massachusetts are helping to make a difference in the recovery efforts.
22News made traveled to Long Island on Thursday to see how your donations are being put to use, and what kind of contribution local volunteers are makling.
In the morning, we left western Massachusetts to meet up with Red Cross volunteers from the Pioneer Valley who have been working out of their New York Headquarters in Manhattan. We then traveled with the volunteers to Long Island, where hundreds of homes were destroyed and thousands remain without power.
Every volunteer we spoke with told us that this is the most challenging relief effort they've been a part of.
"I drove in from West Springfield, and when I got to White Plains (N.Y.) there were five hour waits at the gas station, and we had to wait in line for gas. That was a real issue. The subways were closed, the major highways had a lot of issues with road closures," volunteer Angela Orlich said.
"This is the biggest disaster that I've seen, I started at Hurricane Katrina and I personally feel this is much bigger because the vicinity of the folks that we're trying to help are in two or three different states."
In recent weeks, the American Red Cross has been receiving some criticism for how they have been dealing with storm victims.