Chicago Volunteers From American Red Cross Head To Texas To Offer Help

CHICAGO (CBS) — The Coast Guard said it is being inundated with calls for rescues in Texas. So far the team have rescued more than 1,000 people.

Rescue crews and volunteers from across the nation are working around the clock to help those victims. Some of that help is coming from Chicago on Monday.

CBS 2’s Mike Puccinelli has more from the Red Cross in Tri-Taylor.

It’s gotten so bad in Houston The National Guard and US military have been called upon to help.

But when disaster strikes, the largest humanitarian organization in the world steps up to help.

The American Red Cross is actively seeking donations of food and money. They have already sent enough pallets of water and ready-to-eat meals to supply 28,000 people and the amount to feed an additional 20,000 people is already on the way.

But more of course is needed. That is why those in Chicago and around the country are staffing phone banks to take in donations. The donated money had already made a difference.

CBS: Have you ever seen a flood disaster like this?

“We’ve seen large scale disasters like Hurricane Katrina, Super Storm Sandy, but what makes this unique in a hurricane is the unprecedented rain and flooding that we are seeing,” said American Red Cross Disaster Program Director, Harley Jones.

CBS: They are using words like epic, catastrophic, unprecedented – what are your thoughts?

“It really is that. It’s a 500-year flood by all intensive purposes. You are seeing a year of rain in just a few days, in that part of Texas. I’ve never seen anything like that,” Jones said.

CBS: So what are you doing here in Chicago?

“So what we are doing is mobilizing our volunteer force. Our volunteers who live and work in Chicago are going down. We’ve already sent more than a dozen as well as our emergency response vehicle. They are already on the ground. They are already working in shelters for people who have evacuated the affected areas,” Jones said.

The American Red Cross is always looking for more volunteers. If you are interested in volunteering, you can visit redcross.org. The organization is also looking for financial donations.

“This is going to be a large relief effort,” Jones said. “So people can go to 1-800-RED-CROSS to make a financial donation or they can text the word HARVEY to 90999 to donate $10.”

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