Wyoming and Colorado residents are traveling to Texas to volunteer after the record-breaking Hurricane Harvey. About 32 people are there now volunteering with the Red Cross with another 20 expected by the end of the week.
Hurricane Harvey has battered southeastern Texas for nearly a week dropping more than 50 inches of rain, a continental record according to the National Weather Service. Red Cross has set up 30 shelters around the state to house evacuees.
Many of the volunteers from Colorado and Wyoming will help serve lunch and dinner at those shelters. One Wyoming woman is helping out with medical needs. And others are helping manage the emergency response vehicles. The regional Red Cross in Colorado sent down five of them, used to transport materials and food to shelters and neighborhoods.
With over 7,000 people housed in shelters, Red Cross’s Bill Fortune said help will be needed in Texas long-term.
“We plan on being there for several months as an organization, and we’ll be rotating Colorado and Wyoming people in and out of there probably up until the first of the year,” said Fortune.
Volunteers are expected to stay up to 21 days. He added that Wyomingites can still help without traveling all the way to Texas.
“Certainly, the best thing right now is a financial donation,” Fortune said. “The other way is that…if they recognize we’re sending a lot of our key volunteers down to the hurricane zone, it would be great if people would volunteer to help out at the local chapter."
He said people can also donate online and specify Hurricane Harvey relief.
Governor Mead's office said there’s not yet information about law enforcement or firefighters traveling to the area to help.