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Local Red Cross volunteer returns from Sandy disaster zone

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Altus_An Altus Red Cross worker says the television images of the damage from Superstorm Sandy pale in comparison to the real thing.

Stephen Grayson was the first Red Cross worker from southwest Oklahoma selected to deploy to the East Coast. He was assigned to a post in White Plains, New York, north of New York City, and supervised the assessment of damaged homes in a 14-county region.

"You want to reach out and help those who have such devastation in their lives, with their homes being damaged, no place to stay, no electricity, no gas and have been that way since the storm made landfall," Grayson said.

"Some houses, you couldn't tell that there was any damage at all. Some houses were destroyed. It just depended on how close they were to the shoreline and how deep the water got in the area where that house was."

 His team has assessed over 82,000 homes in those counties, with about 7,000 a complete loss.

Grayson said before he left for Oklahoma, some homeowners were already working to move past the damage Sandy caused.

"They knew that they had damage. They knew they had a big job ahead of them. But, most of them stayed really positive. They were working to get their homes repaired and clean so they could try to resume a normal living situation."

Grayson says he's trying to decide if he will make a return trip to the disaster zone. Another Red Cross group is heading back around the beginning of December.

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