Local Red Cross volunteers heading to Texas to help with Harvey - Tucson News Now

Local Red Cross volunteers heading to Texas to help with Harvey

Steve Komerska, a Tucson area Red Cross volunteer is heading to Texas to help people affected by Hurricane Harvey. Steve Komerska, a Tucson area Red Cross volunteer is heading to Texas to help people affected by Hurricane Harvey.
Keith Morin, a Tucson area Red Cross volunteer is heading to Texas to help people affected by Hurricane Harvey. (Source: Mike Sagara, Public Information Officer for Red Cross Southern AZ Chapter.). Keith Morin, a Tucson area Red Cross volunteer is heading to Texas to help people affected by Hurricane Harvey. (Source: Mike Sagara, Public Information Officer for Red Cross Southern AZ Chapter.).
Volunteer, Dale Ireland talks with Tucson News Now about Red Cross support in Texas. (Source: Tucson News Now). Volunteer, Dale Ireland talks with Tucson News Now about Red Cross support in Texas. (Source: Tucson News Now).
Source: Mike Sagara, Public Information Officer for Red Cross Southern AZ Chapter. Source: Mike Sagara, Public Information Officer for Red Cross Southern AZ Chapter.
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

Across Southern Arizona, a dozen Red Cross volunteers are springing into action to help with Hurricane Harvey.

“They’re standing there in pajamas with no shoes. Where do you turn?” said Dale Ireland, volunteer with the Red Cross. 

Homes are destroyed. Cars are stalled out in flooded streets. There have been hundreds of heroic rescues taking place around Houston as the flood waters from Hurricane Harvey continue to rise.

Red Cross volunteer and Tucsonan, Dale Ireland, is preparing to deploy to Texas where he’ll work to assess the damage. He was ready to fly out of the Tucson International Airport on Sunday afternoon, but because of the intensity of the storm, all flights into Huston have been cancelled for the time being. He said this snag won’t stop him from helping. When he got the call to help he had just minutes to pack his bags.

“Some clean clothes for a week and you run with it,” Ireland said.

Keith Morin and Steve Komerska are two other Tucsonans who will be flying to Dallas on Sunday, as the Houston airport has canceled most flights, according to Mike Sagara, Public Information Officer for Red Cross Southern AZ Chapter.

"I didn't sign up with the Red Cross to stay at home. I want to go and help people wherever they are," Komerska said.

This is the first disaster relief operation for both Komerska and Morin, Sagara said.

They expect to be on the assignment for 2 weeks.

The Red Cross labeled Harvey as a level seven disaster. They said it’s similar to Hurricane Katrina – as it brings life-threatening and devastating damage to the Gulf Coast. Right now the Red Cross is working to get 4,000 of their volunteers from across the country into Texas. There are 35 people deploying from Arizona. Colin Williams is one of them.

“When I got the call today that I’ll be going, boy, I am little bit nervous and apprehensive of what I’m going to see,” Williams said.

But Williams is willing to put his fears aside to step in and help get families the basic needs like food and shelter.  

“Then case workers will come along and actually help them recover documents, get the medications and there will be nurses on scene,” Williams said.

While the road to recovery in Texas will stretch on into the months ahead, our local volunteers like Ireland, take pride in offering comfort in these difficult situations.

“If my neighbor needed help, I’d help them. They’re our neighbors,” Ireland said.

Ireland's flight has been re-booked to land in Houston on Monday night. 

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Copyright 2017 Tucson News Now. All rights reserved.

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