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York's Bailey Coach heads to Texas to help Hurricane Harvey relief efforts

Jana Benscoter
York Dispatch
  • Bailey said he's taking donations until 1:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 28 at 55 S. Fayette St.

John Bailey, owner of York-based Bailey Coach Trailways, said he's been called upon by the Federal Emergency Management Agency to assist with Hurricane Harvey relief. 

The family-owned and -operated charter business has been a certified vendor for FEMA to help with transportation in times of need during major weather-related destruction, according to the business's website. 

Bailey Coach Trailways employee Bobby Hershberger works inside a motor coach cargo hold while loading cases of water Monday, Aug. 28, 2017. Earlier in the day, FEMA contacted the business to see if it could help with transportation during the Texas flooding. Owner John Bailey agreed to send three coaches.  Bill Kalina photo

Bailey left York about 2 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 28, with 60,000 pounds of bottled water, canned food and clothes to assist Texans hit by Harvey, which made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane and continues to pummel the area as a tropical storm. 

"This is our third or fourth hurricane that we've done," Bailey said. He said he received the "go-ahead" after 9 a.m. Monday, Aug. 28, but he was notified of FEMA's request at 11 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 27.  

More:Yorkers helping out in Red Cross response to Harvey

More:Battered by Harvey, Houston braces for even more flooding

Bailey Coach Trailways owner John Bailey takes a call while in the planning stages of sending three coaches to Texas on Monday, Aug. 28, 2017. Earlier in the day, FEMA contacted the business to see if it could help with transportation during the Texas flooding. Bill Kalina photo

Bailey said, as of Monday morning, he had 25 cases of water in stock. 

"We'd be happy to take any canned food or bottled water," he said.

Bailey said he and two other drivers planned to depart for San Antonio, Texas, at 2 p.m. Monday, Aug. 28. Two of the vehicles are standard-seating, 55-passenger coaches, and one coach has a wheelchair lift. 

Following a staging-area inspection, Bailey explained, the three drivers will be dispatched with National Guard personnel on board. 

After helping the driver of the submerged truck get to safety, a man floats on the freeway flooded by Tropical Storm Harvey on Sunday, Aug. 27, 2017, near downtown Houston. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

"We don't go anywhere without National Guardsmen," he said. "We could be picking up people and taking them to evacuation sites. It's hard to say."

Bailey said he and the drivers would travel 12 hours Monday and another 12 hours Tuesday, Aug. 29, "about the time when the rain is supposed to stop." 

Fourteen local volunteers also have been deployed by the American Red Cross of Central Pennsylvania 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.

Editor's note: This story has been changed to correct the amount of supplies sent to Texas on Bailey Coach buses.