This week marks one year since Superstorm Sandy ravaged the East Coast including downstate New York. Although the Capital Region didn't see nearly as much damage as downstate, the area played a major role in the days leading up to and following the storm.
YNN's Jon Dougherty reports the Northeast Chapter of the American Red Cross is still hard at work helping people recover, one year later.
ALBANY, N.Y. -- One year ago this week, American Red Cross worker Skip Zimmerman was bracing for Superstorm Sandy in their Albany warehouse.
"We had a lot of people and a lot of material here ready to go for this area," Zimmerman said.
Local volunteers spent days stocking up the warehouse and getting ready for what was forecasted as a direct hit on the Albany area. The path of the storm changed and made landfall on the downstate coast.
Despite the lessened need for supplies and help in the Capital Region, more than 30 local Red Cross volunteers deployed to help the victims downstate.
Zimmerman was one of the first local Red Cross volunteers on the ground.
"It was very memorable. You could feel the pain," Zimmerman said.
The pictures are still fresh in his mind.
"Just moving couches, walls and carpeting. Everything that people, that you have in your home had to be destroyed," said Zimmerman.
More than 17,000 Red Cross volunteers from around the country helped victims in what was one of the organization's largest domestic responses since Hurricane Katrina in August of 2005.
"We sheltered about 75,000 people, served over 17 million meals, distributed millions of relief items like shovels, rakes, things like that," said Gary Striar, the C.E.O. of the Northeast Regional Chapter of the American Red Cross.
For some, the damage left behind by Sandy was all too familiar after the Capital Region was hit by Tropical Storm Irene and the remnants of Lee in 2011. Striar said it could have been the reason $2 million were raised locally for the Red Cross to help the victims of Sandy.
"People here understood that we were impacted and people came from all over the country and sent dollars to help us and now was our turn to send dollars and people to help people downstate and other states that needed help," Striar said.
One year after the storm help is still being provided.
"We've been giving money to other agencies that are better equip to do work on the ground long-term," Zimmerman said. "Food banks and organizations like that who are continuing to feed people and help people in the disaster affected areas."