48 workers from Washington's ecology department deployed to help hurricane relief effort

Washington state's Department of Ecoclogy is deploying 48 Washington Conservation Corps (WCC) AmeriCorps members and staff to New York to help communities struck by Hurricane Sandy.

The crews will come from Ellensburg, Port Hadlock, Seattle, Mount Vernon-Sedro Woolley, Wenatchee and Yakima. They departed Wednesday for a 35-day deployment, the state's Department of Ecology said in a release. The teams will remove trees and other debris, operate shelters, coordinate volunteers and perform other community assistance work.

The teams were sent after the federal Corporation for National and Community Service requested help from the state. They will join several hundred other AmeriCorps members already engaged in the relief effort.

"Washingtonians stand with our friends and family on the East Coast as they begin to clean up and rebuild from the devastating left by Hurricane Sandy," Governor Chris Gregoire said in a statement. "The young women and men in our WCC AmeriCorps program have been deployed to disaster responses across the country and always put service above self."

According to the Department of Ecology, the teams will drive their crew trucks to the East Coast and should arrive on Saturday.

In the past years, WCC members have been deployed to Alabama, Florida, Iowa, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri and Texas to help residents affected by various natural disasters.