HOUSTON -- Deadly flooding in southeast Texas prompted mandatory evacuations Tuesday as the region braces for more rain. While many are trying to escape the worst of it, Denver area Red Cross volunteers began to travel to the hardest-hit areas.
The team of six volunteers plan to arrive in the Houston area by Thursday. They are bracing for record flooding.
Severe storms slammed the region over the past few days, overwhelming the greater Houston area with flooding. According to the Fort Bend County Emergency Management Office, the Brazos River is above flooding conditions.
Overhead video captured scenes of farm animals trapped, completely surrounded by floodwaters with nowhere to go. Hundreds have been flooded out of their homes.
They are scenes that are all too familiar to Texans, who have recently seen historic floods.
“Seeing the devastation and people who lost most of their belongings and even their entire house,” said Peter Dunn, one of the six volunteers with the Red Cross traveling to the Lone Star State.
The Navy veteran was in Houston in October after major storms drenched the city with heavy rain.
“We just drove all around the Houston area providing cleaning supplies and roofing materials,” Dunn said. “This time there are over 600 homes affected. We have 15 shelters set up and we will be among 300 volunteers.
“It sounds like it’s even worse this time and in fact it hasn’t even peaked yet."
According to the National Weather Service, another storm is expected to hit east Texas on Thursday and Friday, and could make an already dire situation worse.
Authorities say the flooding has claimed six lives, including a 10-year-old boy who went missing after falling into the Brazos River while fishing. Rescue crews found his body three days later.
In the face of all the devastation, helping those who need it most is a calling volunteers will not hesitate to answer.
“I always liked to go in deployments. So this is just part of my life,” Dunn said.
The group of Colorado volunteers expects to be in Texas for at least two weeks. The team will work with emergency response vehicles that allow the Red Cross to provide a variety of services to individuals affected by a wide range of disasters quickly and efficiently.