Irma gets in way of Mid-Michigan volunteers headed to Haiti - WNEM TV 5

Irma gets in way of Mid-Michigan volunteers headed to Haiti

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(Source: WNEM) (Source: WNEM)

Forecasters are keeping a close watch on Hurricane Irma.

The storm slammed several Caribbean islands as a category 5, with 185 miles per hour winds tearing off roofs, scattering debris and damaging structures across the area.

With Florida in its cross hairs, officials are urging people in the projected path to clear the area.

The storm is altering plans for people in Mid-Michigan.

Jim Wiegand is the pastor of the Freedom Center Church in Fenton. The church sends volunteers to Haiti to help its people.

Wiegand was part of the relief effort last year after Hurricane Matthew hit Haiti. He is afraid of what an even stronger storm like Irma will do.

"It was like somebody took a power washer and 100 mile per hour rain and wind scoured the earth. There was nothing left. Every animal was killed. Every tree was stripped bare. Every house was leveled," Wiegand said.

He said Haiti is in poor shape and building supplies are scarce. That will make it even harder to recover after Irma hits.

"If they have a roof at all. It's made out of tin. And the chance of them being hit by 185 mile per hour winds, it's devastating," Wiegand said.

His group of 26 volunteers was planning to head out Saturday, but they will have to wait.

The volunteers found out Wednesday afternoon one of their flights has already been canceled. Now they're anxiously waiting to see if they're going to be able to get out to Haiti to help people.

"The odds of getting out are slim, but we're going to try," Wiegand said.

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