Four Central Coast Red Cross volunteers deployed to help with Harvey

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. - As the unrelenting storm Harvey moves into Mississippi, another wave of volunteers are heading into Texas and Louisiana.

Four from the Central Coast -- Al and Virginia Becker of Los Gatos, Mike Fyfe of Aptos, and Joy LeClair of Santa Cruz -- are joining in to help.

The Beckers left for Baton Rouge on Thursday morning.

"I know from our experiences, it's far worse than anything I've ever seen," Virginia Becker said.

In the four years Becker has been with the Red Cross, she's covered 10 natural disasters. But she expects that nothing could compare to Harvey.

"It's going to be a hard deployment, harder than most. I'm hearing that most of the volunteers are putting in at least 12-hour days and trying to find a place to sleep, etc.,' Becker said.

At the Red Cross in Santa Cruz, more people are preparing for what's ahead. Veteran volunteer Lyle Crosley was there to help when hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans.

"It was rough, really rough," Crosley said.

Now, he is getting ready to drive an emergency response vehicle to Texas.
"It either does food, serves food out to people who need it, out in the locations or bulk distribution or a variety of things," Crosley said. "We are down there to help the needs of the people in whatever way we can."

As of Wednesday night, the Red Cross has 200 shelters open for those in Harvey's path

There are 1,500 volunteers on the ground, with more support on the way.

"As the stuff we've seen on TV makes clear, the problem in Houston and in that area is on a scale we've never seen before. The Red Cross has people going there from all over the country and that's what's going to take," Burns said

The Red Cross said the best way to help those affected by Harvey is to donate money because there's no way to immediately get things like diapers and canned food where they need to go.

To donate, click here.


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