PHILADELPHIA (CBS)— American Red Cross volunteers from the Philadelphia region are already on the ground in Texas and more are on the way to assist those affected by Hurricane Harvey, which made landfall Friday night as a Category 4 storm with heavy rain and 130 mph winds.
According to the National Weather Service, Hurricane Harvey is expected to produce total rain accumulations of 15 to 30 inches and isolated maximum amounts of 40 inches over the middle and upper Texas coast through next Wednesday. During the same time period Harvey is expected to produce total rain accumulations of 5 to 15 inches in far south Texas and the Texas Hill Country over through southwest and central Louisiana. Rainfall of this magnitude will cause catastrophic and life-threatening flooding.
The Red Cross is mobilizing hundreds of disaster relief workers, truckloads of kitchen supplies, as well as ready-to-eat meals to support this response effort.
Trailers full of shelter supplies were set to arrive in Texas, enough to support more than 20,000 people.
The local chapters of the American Red Cross are geared up for a massive response along the gulf in Texas.
“Our two volunteers left immediately because of the unique skills that they have,” said regional CEO Judge Renee Cardwell Hughes. “That’s one of the things that’s special about Eastern Pennsylvania. Our people deploy a lot and they have unique skills, so they are often called in these matters.”
“We also have three emergency response vehicles which are being stocked and are on standby,” she said.
Hughes says unlike some disasters, they knew this was coming and could plan accordingly.
“The thing about a hurricane is that is does give us this window to allow us to position human supplies, human resources and physical supplies,” she said. “That’s critical.”
Texas is also getting support from Red Cross volunteers in New Jersey.
“Ten New Jersey Red Cross volunteers are proudly serving alongside local volunteers in Texas, helping provide a safe haven for those who have evacuated their homes due to Hurricane Harvey,” said Ana Montero, regional CEO, American Red Cross New Jersey Region. “Additional volunteers are ready to deploy to help with the disaster response effort as needed. We’re thankful for their dedication to help others in a time of need.”
The Red Cross depends on financial donations to be able to provide disaster relief immediately.
Help people affected by Hurricane Harvey by visiting redcross.org, calling 1- 800-RED CROSS or texting the word HARVEY to 90999 to make a $10 donation.