Yorkers helping out in Red Cross response to Harvey

Junior Gonzalez
York Dispatch

The American Red Cross is sending local volunteers to the areas affected by Hurricane Harvey over the weekend.

Fourteen local volunteers have been deployed by the American Red Cross of Central PA to areas near the Gulf Coast, according to regional spokeswoman Kim Maiolo.

Of the 14 on-the-ground volunteers, two are from the South Central Chapter of the Red Cross, which consists of York, Franklin, Adams and Fulton counties.

Fairview Township Fire Co. Chief Chris Weidenhammer, who is also the regional disaster officer for the Red Cross, said he was departing for Washington, D.C., Sunday night, where he will coordinate assistance efforts from the American Red Cross headquarters.

“We're going to see what and where the needs are,” Weidenhammer said.

Rescuers pluck hundreds from rising floodwaters in Houston

The Red Cross is looking for approximately 4,000 volunteers to assist those affected by Harvey, according to Weidenhammer — a number higher than initially requested for Superstorm Sandy in 2012.

“We’re all hands on deck right now,” he said of the response on the ground.

From what Weidenhammer has heard from friends and colleagues on the ground, water inundation is “just unbelievable.”

The National Weather Service announced Sunday that rainfall from Harvey could reach 50 inches in some areas.

How to help: Weidenhammer said locals can help by donating monetarily to the American Red Cross or by committing to a potentially weekslong assistance trip.

To volunteer on the ground, Weidenhammer said willing volunteers can sign up for a commitment of two to three weeks in the affected areas, which include Texas and Louisiana.

For more information, visit the Red Cross website at www.redcross.org or contact the York office of the American Red Cross at 717-845-2751.