WXXI AM News

Local Red Cross volunteers are in Texas to help flood victims

Aug 27, 2017

As waters continue to rise in Houston and surrounding towns, local American Red Cross volunteers are making their way down to Texas to help.

14 volunteers from the Western and Central New York region are deploying to the Gulf Coast.

One of those local volunteers is Sarah Perkins, she said the rains are catastrophic in Texas, and expects relief efforts to go on for several months.

She said she had to fly into the San Antonio airport because Houston's was closed. The typical three hour drive between the cities took about four with all the rain, requiring Perkins to pull over and wait out parts of the storm.

"The highway I came into Houston on was clear yesterday and this morning it’s under four feet of water. So the flooding is extensive and its rapid."

Perkins' team works on disaster assessment, she said her term will last 21 days in Houston; surveying how bad damages are, what type of housing has been impacted and where shelter locations might be able to be set up because of extensive road closures.

Perkins’ is an experienced volunteer, she started after Hurricane Katrina.

"I really began to appreciate how we can each use our life’s experiences and our skills and talents and pull together and make a difference in someone else's life when they're at their lowest point. When they need the most help and they have no idea who to reach out to."

This is Perkins' fourth trip to Houston since she started volunteering to aid in flood relief.