A Mars man was driving nearly 400 miles Friday to deliver supplies to storm-ravaged New Jersey.
Jake Riemer, 28, a CNT operator at Laird Plastics in Gibsonia, took the day off work to make the trip to Atlantic City.
Last week Hurricane Sandy devastated much of the East Coast with flooding and wind damage, and this week, a nor'easter hit the northern part of the coast.
“Have you seen the pictures?” Riemer asked. “We had to do something. It's not looking good.”
Riemer started planning his trip Oct. 31.
As soon as he told his boss at Laird what he was doing, his boss was supportive.
“They're a huge help,” Riemer said.
His boss sent out an e-mail to the company's customers telling them what Riemer was doing.
Laird was the largest contributor, but Riemer said that he got donations from American Made in Cranberry Township and Sampco in Harmar Township, Allegheny County.
He also got individual donations, including a family who wanted to remain anonymous but that donated more than $1,000.
Riemer said that he went to Sam's Club and bought supplies, including 70 cases of water, 100 pairs of socks, batteries, blankets, food and other things. Riemer bought items that the American Red Cross is requesting to assist victims.
He will drive his Ford F-150 pickup truck, which will have an attached trailer carrying the supplies.
Riemer loaded up the trailer Thursday night.
Riemer was traveling with his friend, Brian King of Gibsonia.
“As soon as he heard what I was doing, he called and said, 'I'm in,'” Riemer said.
The two men left Friday at 6 a.m. from his company's headquarters on Route 910.
Riemer hoped to arrive at 2 p.m. He was to drop off clothing at a Goodwill and other supplies at a Red Cross location.
He said that the total trip was estimated to take 16 hours, but he said he was trying to take traffic and unloading into account, which would add time to the trip.
“I'm figuring in 24 hours, we'll be back,” Riemer said.
But the time factor was not going to deter him.
“One way or the other, we're getting there,” Riemer said.