PRINCETON, NJ — As Hurricane Harvey continues to pound the state of Texas with torrential rains, New Jersey is sending support in the face of the most deadly and devastating hurricane to strike the U.S. in more than a decade.
The American Red Cross New Jersey Region has deployed 17 disaster workers to help those affected by the hurricane. Additional volunteers and vehicles are on standby, ready to deploy as needed, according to a post on its Facebook page.
In addition, the N.J. Office of Emergency Management's New Jersey Task Force One is on its way to Texas to assist with water rescue operations. Departing from Joint Base McGuire-Fort Dix, the team is scheduled to arrive today. Originally deployed to San Antonio, the team has now been redeployed to Katy, Texas, because the roads to San Antonio have become impassable. The task force's primary mission is to provide advanced technical search and rescue capabilities to victims trapped or entombed in structurally collapsed buildings.
The Red Cross is mobilizing hundreds of trained Red Cross disaster relief workers, truckloads of kitchen supplies, as well as tens of thousands of ready-to-eat meals to support this response effort. Trailers full of shelter supplies including cots and blankets — enough to support more than 20,000 people — are scheduled to arrive in Texas.
More than 1,800 people took refuge from the deadly storm on Saturday in 34 Red Cross and community shelters in Texas. In Louisiana, one shelter is open where eight people spent the night. Those numbers are expected to grow and dozens of additional shelters could open.
While Hurricane Harvey has already dropped from a Category 4 hurricane to a tropical storm, all that means is that the winds have lessened. The rain, expected to top 36 inches in some places, has not changed. The full impact of the damage to life and limb will not be known for days.
Tornados are also expected to spin off from the storm, causing even more damage to Texas and eventually Louisiana, as the storm continues through midweek.
The Red Cross depends on financial donations to be able to provide disaster relief immediately. Help people affected by Hurricane Harvey by visiting redcross.org, calling 1- 800-RED CROSS or texting the word HARVEY to 90999 to make a $10 donation.