Irma's impact felt in Berks; Red Cross leader mobilizes

'This season is shaping up to be quite a doozy'

While Florida and the Caribbean may be far away, some in Berks County are feeling Irma's effects.

At Boscov's Travel in Exeter Township, it's been work around the clock trying to reschedule vacation plans to destinations in Irma's path or helping current travelers to safety.

"This season is shaping up to be quite a doozy," said travel agent Joline Cerullo.

While some local Red Cross volunteers are trying to help Texas recover from Hurricane Harvey's destruction, the Reading-based tri-county chapter of the American Red Cross is preparing to mobilize ahead of Irma's expected landfall on the U.S. mainland.

Adrian Grieve, the chapter's executive director, is heading to South Carolina to organize volunteers.

"At this point, it's moving the leadership in and depending on what happens. If Irma heads out to sea, it's good for everybody. If Irma chooses to come up through the country, then we're ready to just hit the ground running, literally," Grieve told 69 News as he prepared to leave his home in Berks.

For a Reading man, the concern hits home.

"Irma's going to pass in the north of our country," said Delfin Vasquez, who has family in the Dominican Republic, including three daughters and six grandchildren.

Vasquez and his wife said they've made dozens of calls to their loved ones in the past couple of days.

While his worry is insurmountable, Vasquez said his family members know how to prepare. He said preparation for hurricane season begins in early summer.

"We have the experience for a lot of hurricanes that cross over there, especially this time of year," he said.

Vasquez also said his family is clinging to their faith.

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