As flood waters rise in Houston and beyond after more than 40 inches of rain deluged the area, so too have efforts from area residents providing relief for those affected by Hurricane Harvey.
Carter County commissioners designated the old Harvey Douglas Funeral Home as a drop-off point for supplies to be delivered to charities and organizations laboring to help those affected by the disaster. Several city officials have convened efforts to collect supplies like cases of water, non-perishable food items, undergarments and pet supplies.
“These people have lost everything,” said Carter County Court Clerk Renee Bryant. “Whatever you use everyday, that is what they don’t have. This is a group effort to help those who have nothing left.”
Bryant and company will accept donations from 2-4 p.m. and 5-6 p.m. through Friday, Sept. 1. The local crew is waiting for flooding to recede before they deliver the collected goods. Ardmore residents may also visit a Facebook page called “Carter County Relief for Texas” for updates on the city’s charitable efforts.
In addition, volunteers with the Ardmore chapter of the American Red Cross are on their way to Houston with nearly 50 other fellow Oklahomans to connect those affected to local resources. Liz Williams, an Ardmore resident and Red Cross volunteer who arrived to the Houston area Tuesday, said this was her sixth deployment to connect victims of disaster to area resources according to their personal needs.
“We are the eyes and ears on the ground. I go out into the community, talk to people and see if we can supply them with what they need,” Williams said.
Williams serves with the regional external relations group of the Red Cross, which implements a comprehensive list of local volunteer organizations in the affected area to ensure the most appropriate response to a disaster.
Red Cross officials said anybody interested in becoming an official volunteer may visit www.redcross.org for basic training classes and other screening processes to begin the admittance process. Monetary donations are always welcome.
Oklahoma Gas & Electric Companies also sent 81 linemen and 41 trucks to begin restoring power for the more than 280,000 Texas homes and businesses currently off the grid, said OG&E community affairs liaison Gene Fryar. The crew arrived in Rockport, Texas Tuesday morning.
Crews will reset and replace poles and overhead lines as part of the company’s pledge with regional power companies, called a “reciprocal agreement.” In the event Oklahoma is affected by an ice storm, tornado or any other disaster, crews in the area would also collaborate efforts to restore power for Oklahomans.
Fryar said OG&E has invested more than $1 million into this effort.