Mass. Red Cross and Coast Guard head to Houston to help with disaster relief

BOSTON (WHDH) - Red Cross volunteers and rescue equipment from the U.S. Coast Guard in Massachusetts have made their way to Texas to assist in rescue and recovery in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.

Twenty-two Red Cross volunteers from Massachusetts have already made the trek to Houston, along with two emergency vehicles. The disaster relief organization says it is sending two additional volunteers and supplies to assist those in need of food, water and shelter. By Sunday night, more than 6,000 residents in Houston have headed to Red Cross shelters.

“Right now the main concern is getting these people something to eat and getting them supplies to clean up their home,” said Jeff Hall of the American Red Cross said.

The Red Cross volunteers plan to say in Houston over the coming weeks and offer financial assistance.

At Air Station Cape Cod in Bourne, two helicopters have been sent to Houston to assist with the rescue efforts, along with an airplane. One of the helicopters out of Cape Cod has already rescued at least 24 people in the past eight hours. Overall, at least 2,000 people have been plucked from flood waters in recent days.

Back in Boston, the city is collecting donations to help residents in Houston. Items needed include toiletries, diapers, baby formula, non-perishable food and new clothing and blankets. The donations are being collected from Tuesday through Thursday at City Hall, 1010 Mass Ave., 26 Court St., the Bolling Building, BYCF Headquarters and all BCYF sites.

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