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Sea birds surround the American Legion fishing pier in Bay St. Louis, Miss., as Isaac's winds and storm surge flood some neighborhoods on Wednesday.

Brad Warner is spending his vacation on the Gulf Coast. But with Tropical Storm Isaac moving through the area, he isn’t relaxing on a beach. He’s a volunteer with the Red Cross doing damage assessment.

“It’s just my way of giving back to people outside of Indiana,” he said.

The Anderson High School maintenance custodian has been in Mobile, Ala., since Monday and will be in the Gulf Coast region for the next eight to 10 days.

Doing damage assessment, Warner goes out and reports any flooding or wind damage to homes and businesses he discovers. His team may also contact the local fire department to see if they need any help, he said.

While Isaac has been downgraded to a tropical storm from a category 1 hurricane, Warner said it’s practically at a standstill, causing flooding more than anything.

“It’s pouring,” he said. “It is pouring down.”

The winds weren’t too bad at about 30 to 35 miles per hour, he said, but there’s about 4 to 5 feet of water surrounding houses on stilts with 5- to 6-foot waves coming in.

Residents have left, he noted, and he’ll be there for another day or two as the storm continues to dump rain before heading to Gulf Port, Miss., or New Orleans.

Last year, he was in Stratford, Conn., and New Haven, Conn., helping residents who were hit hard by Hurricane Irene.

Warner has actually been on the site of numerous hurricanes and said he got involved after seeing reports about volunteers needed in New Orleans for Hurricane Katrina. “I’ve been doing it ever since,” he said.

It’s nice to give back, Warner said, and to get others at work involved.

Find Dani Palmer on Facebook and @DaniPalmer_THB on Twitter, or call 640-4847.

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