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WI Red Cross volunteers setting up shelters in path of Isaias

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hurricane isaias

MADISON (WKOW) -- Florida's east coast is seeing heavy rain from Tropical Storm Isaias this weekend.

The storm weakened from a hurricane on Saturday, but it's still threatening southeastern states in the US with heavy rain and flooding.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis warned people to take the storm seriously. Authorities closed beaches, parks and virus testing sites this weekend.

Meanwhile, five Wisconsin volunteers with the American Red Cross are heading down to help communities respond to Isaias. One of them is from Madison.

The team is making initial stops in Delaware and in the Carolinas, helping set up shelters and get ready for any path the storm takes through the US.

The Red Cross says the work is especially important during the pandemic.

"Obviously there's the curveball with COVID. This is happening during a pandemic. Our teams have been training with this, training to prepare, whether it's sheltering or having a health tent there, as well as their own health and safety. So we have a lot of things in place on that end of things," said Justin Kern, with the Red Cross.

The Red Cross and communities across the southern US are focusing on smaller shelters rather than large ones, so there's more separation between people because of the pandemic.

There will also be isolation areas for anyone with COVID and masks and other PPE available.

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