Durham packing bus to help Northeast storm victims - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Durham packing bus to help Northeast storm victims


The New England region is being battered with yet another major storm.  Just 10 days after Hurricane Sandy wreaked havoc on much of the east coast..

A nor'easter with rain, wind, and snow is causing even more problems.  The storm packed winds of more than 50 miles an hour and dumped snow on already weakened tree limbs, leading to additional power outages.  Right now, some 700,000 customers are without electricity across the Northeast.

In the wake of both storms, volunteers from around the country, including some here in eastern Iowa are pitching in to help.

The bus service in the Waterloo School District is stuffing a bus full of all kinds of supplies.  Durham School Services headed up the collection drive, in cooperation with its locations in Iowa City and Davenport, and the community's support to help people thousands of miles away is overwhelming.

School buses are used to being loaded up with kids.  But Thursday, a Davenport school bus brought to Waterloo was packed up with a lot of storm relief supplies and is now New Jersey bound.

"It's unbelievable, the response in this community.  This is a great place, Waterloo is, because their hearts are just pouring out.  In just a few minutes, a few days, we had to do this, and it's overwhelming," said Kathi Corbett, Durham School Services Waterloo manager.

Every building in the Waterloo Community School district donated everything from toilet paper to warm clothing to help storm victims, and some of the stories of those donating are heartwarming, too.

"I had this one little girl who told her bus driver, she brought her bus driver a penny, and said that's all she had left of her allowance, but really wanted to help.  So she asked, 'Would that help?'" Corbett said.

After leaving Waterloo, the bus stopped in Iowa City and Davenport to get more donated supplies en route to the east coast.  Three of Durham's school districts in New Jersey, their students and families impacted by the storms will benefit from the generosity of Iowans.

"Thank you so much, Waterloo, for everything you've done.  You can see my drivers and what kind of affect it's having on them.  They're laughing and happy.  It just feels good," said Corbett.

Fliers went out to Waterloo Schools Monday of this week, as local bus drivers wanted to help with relief from Superstorm Sandy.  Now they're very glad to be helping, in wake of the current nor'easter that's just making disaster recovery even more difficult along the coast.

Durham hopes to arrive in New Jersey Friday.  We're staying in contact with the driver, and hope to get an update on the supply delivery and conditions in the Northeast.

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