PITTSFIELD -- A local company plans to truck nearly 1 million bottles of water to residents of New Jersey, New York City and Long Island trying to recover from Hurricane Sandy.
By today, Ice River Springs will start to deliver 40,000 cases in 25 truckloads of water bottled at the company's West Housatonic Street plant to the disaster areas, via the Federal Emergency Management Agency, according to plant manager Mark Gott.
"We're a big supplier to FEMA, so this is probably the beginning," he said. "We've helped with [Hurricane] Katrina and other disasters in the past."
With the Canadian-based bottler's Allentown, Pa., facility offline due to the superstorm, Gott said the Pittsfield plant is the company's closest to ground zero of the natural disaster.
"We're full-bore right now with two production lines operating 24/7," he said. "We have 36 employees, and we're still calling in people for extra help."
Meanwhile, a top official with the Berkshire County Chapter of the American Red Cross has been deployed by the national organization to assist with relief efforts outside New York City.
Executive Director Kate Leene arrived Tuesday afternoon at the agency's Greater New York headquarters in Westchester County. Leene expects her assignment to last for the next seven to 10 days.
"I'm here to support fundraising efforts for Westchester and Greenwich, Connecticut," she said.
Those wishing to making a donation can go online at www.redcross.org, or send a check to the Berkshire County Chapter of the American Red Cross, 480 West St. Pittsfield, MA, 01201.
Leene said people should indicate on the check the money is for disaster relief.