This post has been updated to incorporate various Missouri organizations assisting in Texas.
Several Missouri-based organizations are in Texas or seeking assistance to aid the victims of Tropical Storm Harvey, which was downgraded from a hurricane over the weekend.
Streets in Houston have been turned into rivers, with rainfall in and around many parts of the city topping 25 inches over a 48-hour period. The storm that battered the Texas coast and brought major flooding has killed at least two people.
“There is so much water it’s hard to describe it. I don’t think that television or video can really grasp the volume of water that exists all across the southern part of the state,” says Jeff Nene, national spokesperson for Springfield-based Convoy of Hope.
The faith-based humanitarian organization has so far deployed four tractor trailers full of food, water and other emergency supplies to Texas. Nene says more loads are being prepared in Springfield and through national partners to be transported.
“Right now everything is shut down in Texas. Businesses are closes, stores are closed, roads are closed. And so we will go through product a lot faster just because of that and because of the expanse of the damage area,” says Nene.
Convoy of Hope initially setup in the coastal town of Corpus Christi, and has now relocated an hour and a half northeast to Victoria, Texas. Nene says it has at least 15 employees helping distribute goods to those in need, along with scores of volunteers. Typically, COH will partner with local churches, who supply anywhere from 10-50 volunteers each day.
On Saturday morning, nearly 50 personnel with Missouri Task Force 1 arrived in San Antonio, Texas, along with over 100,000 pounds of equipment. The urban search and rescue team, managed by the Boone County Fire Protection District, provides support services in disaster zones across the country. Since its arrival in Texas, Missouri Task Force 1 has performed wide area searches and conduct welfare checks on residences in Rockport, along the Gulf Coast. On Sunday afternoon, according to its website, the team was assigned to water rescues in Katy, a western suburb of Houston.
Community Blood Center of the Ozarks, based in Springfield, is asking local blood donors to help respond to the emerging need for blood in areas affected by Tropical Storm Harvey. According to the organization, more than 2,500 units have already been requested, with an emphasis on type O due to its universal application in emergency response.
“This is an unprecedented storm impacting a huge geographic area,” said CBCO Executive Director Anthony Roberts. “Transportation of badly needed blood products into Houston and Corpus Christi has been severely hampered. It is likely that the need will continue through the week and I’m confident Ozarks area donors will roll up their sleeves to help. We’re asking our local donors to give now to help us assist with the ongoing emergency response.”
CBCO was to ship 50 units of blood Monday morning through emergency depots located in Dallas and Austin.
More information is available at www.cbco.org or by calling 800-280-5337.
Red Cross volunteers from southern Missouri are in Texas, sent there ahead of the storm. They’re distributing ready-to-eat meals, running shelters and more.
It’s also accepting donations to help with the disaster relief effort. You can donate at www.redcross.org, by calling 1-800-RED-CROSS or by texting the word “HARVEY” to 90999 to make a $10 donation.
Nene, the Convoy of Hope spokesman, says people can donate any amount through its organization at www.convoyofhope.org or make a $10 donation by texting “CONVOY” to 50555.