Western Mass. volunteers providing Hurricane Matthew relief

Red Cross volunteers in North Carolina, South Carolina & Florida

Keith Paseur, right, and Jamie Day walk through a flooded street from Hurricane Matthew as they check on a neighbor riding out the storm in their downtown store in Brunswick, Ga., Friday, Oct. 7, 2016. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – Severe flooding is only getting worse in North Carolina, days after Hurricane Matthew blew out to sea. 745 miles from western Massachusetts, in Wilmington, a local Red Cross Disaster Relief Manager is helping tens of thousands of people.

don-cawrseAs of Tuesday night, Don Cawrse had spent just 48 hours in North Carolina, but it didn’t take long for him to see the devastation left by hurricane Matthew. He’s managing 15 shelters along the North Carolina coast, after thousands of residents were forced from their homes.

“One of our shelters down in Columbus county is isolated. We can’t get people in or out,” Cawrse told 22News.

In one county, there are 22,000 people without power. Cawrse said the substation for the utility company is underwater, and it’s not expected to be restored until at least Sunday.

Flood waters continue to rise. Miles and miles of roads are shut down as rescues continue both by boat and by helicopter. As of Tuesday night, at least 17 people had died in North Carolina.

Don told 22News victims are grateful for the red cross help: “He said I just want to thank you folks for being here for helping us and for everything you guys do. He said we wouldn’t be able to do it without you.”

Don and other Red Cross volunteers from across the country are setting up four mobile meal stations. They’ll provided more than 20,000 meals a day. They’re also bracing for more potential rain there this week.