Over two dozen Red Cross volunteers from Colorado, Wyoming, aiding in Harvey relief efforts

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Rising floodwaters from the remnants of Hurricane Harvey sent thousands of people to rooftops or higher ground Sunday all over southeast Texas.

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said in a news conference Sunday more than 2,000 calls to 911 for rescues have been made. The U.S. Coast Guard has five helicopters working the emergency calls and they say they’ve received more than 300 requests for urban search and rescue in the Houston area.

A total 26 people from Colorado and Wyoming left Friday ahead of the storm to assist in rescue and recovery efforts, according to Bill Fortune, Regional Communications Specialist with the American Red Cross. One of those 26 people is from the Southeastern Colorado Red Cross chapter.

Additionally, five emergency response vehicles from Colorado and Wyoming were also sent to the Texas area.

“We’re at that point, we’re doing a full call-out to volunteers in the state, asking them to update their availability, be ready to go,” said Fortune.

Volunteers specialized in all areas of expertise — including computer technology, truck drivers and those working in shelters —  will be scheduled out in waves, according to Fortune. More volunteers will be sent out to Texas next week between Tuesday and Thursday after officials have assessed exactly how many more volunteers will be needed there.

Fortune said the American Red Cross has nearly a thousand volunteers from all over the nation helping out in Texas.

There are two dozen shelters open throughout Texas from Corpus Christi to Dallas and even as far as New Orleans in the event that people need to be evacuated. Fortune said it’s expected that at least 10,000 people will be displaced as a result of Harvey.

“We’re continuing to open shelters where we see the need,” he said.

The Urban Search and Rescue Team, comprised of firefighters from several Colorado agencies, will help with water rescue and in other ways.

An official with Colorado Task Force 1 said 45 firefighters from Colorado are in southeastern Texas. Most deployed overnight and others are on standby to leave. The firefighters come from agencies in Denver, Aurora, Castle Rock, Greeley and elsewhere.

Facebook has activated its “Safety Check” feature, which enables residents in impacted areas to use the “I’m Safe” button to let family and friends know they’re safe. The feature also allows Facebook users to see where people have checked-in on the map. You can find out which areas are impacted and check to see if your family members and friends have marked themselves as safe by clicking here.

If you’d like to help out those affected in Texas, you can text HARVEY to 90999 to make a $10 donation or you can donate to the Red Cross online by designating “Harvey.” You can also call 1-800-RED-CROSS to donate. If you are interested in volunteering to support Harvey, click here.

You can also help by making a donation to the Texas Diaper Bank. According to the diaper bank, diapers are not provided by disaster relief agencies. Disaster relief kits with donation supplies and diapers will go to those affected in Texas.

The Salvation Army also has a donation page here.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

 

 

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