Southern Oregon man aiding hurricane evacuees

A Red Cross volunteer from Sutherlin is in Florida right now in a town just west of Orlando.

Joel King–a former firefighter paramedic from Sutherlin–was sent across the country Thursday.

He’s been assisting nearly 350 evacuees in a shelter ever since.

Sutherlin man Joel King left for Florida on Wednesday after hearing about the devastation of Hurricane Matthew.

He arrived at the Walter Butler Community Shelter Thursday afternoon.

When he looks outside the window, he says he sees palm trees toppled over.

“There’s evidence of tree damage in all directions. Without a doubt it was a wind event… power lines, trees,  and that sort of thing really suffered as a result,” King said.

King is part of a health service team of 3 helping evacuees with their medical needs.

“First of all they are so very thankful for the people that are serving them,” King said.

Beyond those that show gratitude, King says some feel foolish for having to leave their homes.

Others… are concerned about what they’ll return home to.

“There was a sense of worry… these folks had left their homes,” King said.

Their anxious wait appears to be over.

Late this afternoon Hurricane Matthew had moved through and they’re now beginning to head home.

Joel King will be deployed in the southeast for 14 days.

He’s now waiting for word on where he’ll head next.

King wants to encourage anyone who’s interested to sign up and volunteer to help by going to the Red Cross website –


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