Sacramento Red Cross Volunteers Help Hurricane Matthew Relief Effort

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SACRAMENTO -- On the east coast of Florida, Hurricane Matthew is creating howling winds, capable of blowing the roof off a gas station and ripping signs from the ceilings.

"To be staring such a large storm in the eye is just amazing, you feel the wind you feel the rush," James Thomas, a Sacramento native and meteorologist for the National Weather Service, told FOX40 over the phone.

It's Thomas' first hurricane and Florida's first serious hurricane in a over a decade.

"Being a Sacramento native, you don't see weather like this in California. You don't see massive hurricanes," Thomas said.

In Sacramento, The American Red Cross is monitoring the powerful storm.

13 volunteers were already on the ground Friday.

They're helping to open shelters in Florida and South Carolina.

"They're going to be providing meals, they're going to be providing comfort," said Janelle Weiner, Director of Communications for the American Red Cross Gold Country region.

The comfort is being spread far across the region.

The Red Cross says 23,000 people in Matthew's path stayed in Red Cross Shelters Thursday night.

"We're dealing with a lot of people coming in were just trying to make sure that everybody has a place to stay, that everybody has the comfort that they need," Weiner said.

The Red Cross, providing the bare necessities and they have a lot of work ahead.

Thomas says the storm is still hovering over the East Coast of Florida and heading North.

"North Carolina is not out of the woods yet, South Carolina or Georgia are still in danger over the next several days," said Thomas.