With historic flooding in Houston, volunteers from all over, including the Triad, have poured into Texas to help. Some, with experience responding to disasters already, fear Harvey could be on the scale of Hurricane Katrina.
WFMY News 2 spoke with two volunteers already in Texas: Quinton Macon and Sally Tarolli, both from Greensboro. They've both been volunteering with the Red Cross for more than a decade now.
Tarolli arrived in to Texas Sunday, and headed straight to a town outside San Antonio to open a shelter. Macon was in Houston for a few days, before heading to Corpus Christi to open kitchens there.
The Red Cross volunteers have responded to disasters many times before, but after arriving in Texas, the conditions, they say, are shocking.
“I started out with Katrina. You know what I saw there, was devastating,” said Tarolli, “And I think that this is going to be as bad or worse.”
Tarolli's job for the next two weeks will be opening and managing shelters. At this point, officials believe shelter will be needed for at least 30 thousand people.
“I talked to another shelter worker and we all think that it is going to be more than that,” she said.
Late last week, we caught up with Macon before he headed to Texas. Now that he's been there for a few days, we asked him about the scope of the damage.
“I’ve been to some of these flooded events with the Red Cross and I've never seen anything like this,” said Macon.
Both agree that across the Gulf, damage is extensive. But, so is compassion. In the thick of the chaos - something the volunteers did see - is neighbors helping neighbors.
“I personally saw firsthand, a lot of people with their individual boats, as waters were rising they were out and about evacuating homes,” Macon explained.
If you are interested in helping, volunteers say don't send things like blankets or toiletries. They ask for monetary donations, or if you have the time or passion, the Red Cross is looking for volunteers for on the ground training.
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