Local relief groups head for Texas to help victims of Harvey

NEW YORK (WABC) -- More volunteers and emergency teams from the New York area arrived in Texas Tuesday to help the victims of Hurricane Harvey.


New York Task Force-1's mission Tuesday is to work operations in Galveston, aiding on water rescue operations in the city.

"Roads are in bad shape, but the team is in high spirits looking to work," a spokeswoman said.

They will be living in tents and eating ready-to-eat meals. The team's 19-vehicle caravan arrived in Texas at 4 p.m. Monday following a 35-hour trip.

The team consists of 41 firefighters, 39 police officers and an Office of Emergency Management official. Six canine dogs are also part of the unit.


Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the deployment of additional New York Air National Guard resources to assist in the Hurricane Harvey response in Texas.

A HC-130 search and rescue aircraft carrying 15 more Airmen from the 106thRescue Wing left Gabreski Air National Guard Base Tuesday morning and was due to arrive at Fort Hood in Texas later in the day.

Additionally, a Regional Medical Plans Officer will depart for Texas on Thursday to assist with the evacuation and transportation of patients from area hospitals.


Red Cross disaster workers left Fairfield driving two Red Cross emergency response vehicles to Texas to help with relief efforts.

They will join 19 New Jersey Red Cross disaster workers who are supporting the relief operations in Texas.

Gov. Chris Christie said an emergency task force of police, fire and emergency personnel was sent from New Jersey to Texas to help with rescue efforts.

Christie said in a statement that as Americans, "we come together during times of crisis." He noted how emergency and law enforcement agencies came from around the country to help New Jersey during Superstorm Sandy.


Stamford-based Americares deployed members from its emergency response team Monday to meet the health needs of hurricane survivors, working with a local clinic as they do wellness checks and provide medical care to storm victims.

Workers prepared the boxes of medical supplies, water bottles and medicine that would head to the disaster area.

"We provided four truckloads of bottled water to support displaced residents throughout the state, and we provided a shipment of tetanus vaccines to protect first responders and relief workers," Americares vice-president of emergency response Garrett Ingoglia said.

Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal visited the Americares headquarters to support Connecticut relief efforts and received an update on the status of the response.

"We should not force the Gulf Coast to go through the delay that we suffered after Sandy in relief efforts," he said. "Those delays were debilitating, unnecessary, and they should not be repeated here."

He encouraged people to support private relief organizations while he lobbies congress to quickly approve the funding to help Texans recover and rebuild.

"We think there is going to be additional need for relief supplies at the shelters, because they are sheltering so many people," Ingoglia said. "So we'll probably get more water and hygiene supplies and things like that out to shelters."
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Jeff Smith has more on the good-hearted American Red Cross volunteers.

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(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)
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