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Red Cross volunteers from NC rush to help flooded Houston

R.J. Widry walked into a Red Cross shelter in La Marque, Texas, as former Hurricane Harvey headed for the Texas coast Friday. Twenty-nine Red Cross volunteers from western North Carolina are helping flood victims in Houston.
R.J. Widry walked into a Red Cross shelter in La Marque, Texas, as former Hurricane Harvey headed for the Texas coast Friday. Twenty-nine Red Cross volunteers from western North Carolina are helping flood victims in Houston. AP

The American Red Cross has sent 29 volunteers from Western North Carolina to help Houston residents cope with flooding from Hurricane Harvey.

“We expect many more to go” for a response that’s likely to last for weeks, said Angela Broome Powley, CEO for the Western North Carolina region. “We’re trying to meet as many requests for volunteers as possible.”

A 5,000-person shelter has been established in Houston, where rising water chased thousands of people to rooftops or higher ground and overwhelmed rescuers.

No evacuees are expected at this point to be sent to Charlotte, Powley said.

The Red Cross of Eastern North Carolina sent nine volunteers and staff members to help flood victims in Texas and Louisiana.

Volunteers will go for two to three weeks at a time and be relieved by other volunteers, Powley said. They will fill a variety of roles, including providing food, shelter, logistics, security and mental health support.

Three feeding vehicles, from Asheville, Hickory and Winston-Salem, left Sunday or were on the way Monday, Powley said. The vehicles will be stocked with water and meals from mobile kitchens.

Three staff members of the Charlotte Fire Department also left for Texas on Monday morning. They’re part of the North Carolina Helicopter Aquatic Rescue Team.

Emergency officials said the best way to immediately help Houston residents is by donating to the Red Cross and other responsible charities that work directly with the victims.

Bruce Henderson: 704-358-5051, @bhender

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