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Local agencies aiming to help those affected by Laura

Local agencies help those affected by Laura
Posted at 8:07 PM, Aug 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-28 15:06:03-04

Three years ago, the Coastal Bend was devastated by Hurricane Harvey.

After the storm rolled through our area, several agencies from across the nation helped us rebuild.

That is the mission again from some local agencies who are sending people to help those affected by Hurricane Laura.

“During Hurricane Harvey, we had 5,600 lineman in the area," said Omar Lopez, a spokesman for AEP. "So we are proud that we provide the same kind of support."

Laura pounded parts of of Louisiana and Southeast Texas on Thursday, with Lake Charles, La., being the epicenter of the destruction left by the strongest hurricane so far this season.

That's why Lopez knows it's important to help out our Gulf Coast neighbors.

"When they need help , we respond and we are proud we are able to help them today," Lopez said.

AEP is sending around 340 people to help with the aftermath of Laura. The American Red Cross Coastal Bend chapter also has volunteers in the East Texas area waiting to assess damages.

Fernando Fernandez is in Lufkin and says volunteers are greatly needed.

“It was stormy, windy, and raining but that’s it," Fernandez said. "It’s very important, very, very important. Without volunteers, the Red Cross wouldn’t function at all. i think about 85 percent of the Red Cross are volunteers.”

The Texas Department of Transportation’s (TxDOT) Corpus Christi District sent personnel and equipment to Beaumont to assist with debris clearing and other activities in the wake of Laura’s landfall.

“The mission of this team is to assist with clearing debris from roadways, restoring traffic signals and erecting directional and traffic control signs," said Valente Olivarez Jr., district engineer for TxDOT's Corpus Christi District.

The 13-member TxDOT team consists of maintenance personnel from Corpus Christi, Goliad, Beeville and Karnes City, a Refugio sign crews, a traffic signal crew and mechanics. The team and its convoy of equipment departed TxDOT’s maintenance section in Goliad this morning and is prepared to stay in the field for up to a week.

The Corpus Christi Fire Department deployed nine firefighters to help with mobile hospitals in Texas, Corpus Christi Fire Chief Robert Rocha said. Robstown Emergency Medical Services also sent two of its empolyees to help those affected by the storm.