Sandhills, Triangle Red Cross volunteers head to Texas

FAYETTEVILLE, NC (WTVD) -- Red Cross volunteers from the Fayetteville and Raleigh areas are answering the call for assistance in the flood and tornado-ravaged areas of Texas and Oklahoma.

"We've been asked to back fill Red Crossers who have been on the scene for the last two weeks," said Mary Donny, a volunteer with the Triangle Red Cross. "They're getting tired and exhausted.

Donny will board a plane Wednesday morning with a small backpack and a laptop to help keep track of shelter residents in Houston. She'll join people like Lori Nieves and Larry Nesbit who left Fayetteville and Harnett County on Friday.

Nieves, a shelter supervisor, has been documenting their journey on Facebook, tagging the Highlands Chapter of the Red Cross.

The volunteers are helping with food, shelter, and toiletries. Sometimes they don't know what they'll be expected to do until they arrive to replace others.

Phil Harris, the Executive Director of the Highlands Chapter, said more volunteers are on standby alongside the chapter's Emergency Response Vehicle.

While the group is in the response and recovery stages providing basic needs for displaced residents, they are returning to their basic training to comfort people.

"The first thing you say is 'we're here to help.'" said Harris. "'We're here to support you and get you back on the road to recovery, whatever that may be.'"

Harris said there's no timetable for the volunteers' return.

"Hopefully it won't be long, but the weather hasn't subsided, so we'll be there as long as we're needed."

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