Arizona Red Cross volunteers helping people in Hawaii, as Lane approaches island

PHOENIX (KSAZ) -- Hurricane Lane, which, as of Friday night, was downgraded to a tropical storm, is already proving to be damaging.

The Red Cross, meanwhile, sending a couple hundred volunteers to Hawaii to help out, and some of those volunteers are from Arizona.

Right now, Renee Adolph is set up in an evacuation center in the island of Oahu. Unlike other states, where residents can just get in their cars and just drive hundreds of miles away to another state, people in Hawaii are sort of trapped, and have to stay put. Adolph says she's helping these people who haven't seen a major storm like this in 26 years.

Adolph said she's been through her fair share of hurricanes, but nothing like this.

"Almost like it's teasing us," said Adolph, in a phone interview. "Last year, when I was in Florida, the hurricane was coming and so we hunkered down and then it hit and it was gone."

It's not over, however, for the folks on Maui and Oahu. They're expected to get another round. 

"This one is a little different, in that this one is longer and some people are getting a little nervous as they're having to wait," said Adolph.

"It's a bad thing when these things happen, but our volunteers can't wait. They are folks that are all about giving back," said Kurt Kroemer, CEO of the American Red Cross Phoenix Chapter.

Adolph said about a dozen evacuation centers have opened up across the island. Most of the folks taking shelter are medically fragile and can't evacuate from their homes on moment's notice, so they are already there at the evacuation center, bracing for the worst.

"Because it's an evacuation center, it's not a typical shelter, we don't have the cots. We're sleeping on the cement floors and that doesn't make a real restful night," said Adolph. "But we're not here to be comfortable, we're here to take care of what people need."

The Red Cross has sent 250 volunteers from across the U.S. to Hawaii, and there are already 250 volunteers based on the islands.

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