Heroes emerge as disaster strikes

Published 6:11 pm Monday, August 28, 2017

Hurricane Harvey is far from over.

The hurricane that hit Texas as a Category 4 hurricane Friday night is one of the strongest tropical storms to hit the United States in decades. The storm struck Friday, and since then, has transformed into a slow-moving storm, bringing disastrous rainfall and whirling winds to Houston and surrounding areas.

The storm dumped record-breaking rainfall in areas of the Lone Star State. Parts of southeast Houston saw more than 24 inches of rain in just two days, and the total rainfall could reach up to 50 inches, according to The Weather Channel.

Although the storm has since passed, periods of torrential rain will continue to hover over parts of Texas and into Louisiana — only making matters worse and adding to the already catastrophic flooding. Repercussions from this deadly storm are expected to last well into September.

The flooding reached roof-high in areas, and photos of vehicles submerged underwater and residents wading in waist-deep waters are on television and the internet. Residents’ homes are ruined, belongings are destroyed, and many were forced to resort to high-ground shelters.

As of Monday afternoon, the storm took eight lives.

Volunteers from the American Red Cross across the nation are on the ground in Texas saving lives, and members of the Red Cross of eastern North Carolina are no different.

The American Red Cross of eastern North Carolina sent more than 30 volunteers and staff members to Houston, as well as four emergency-response vehicles to the Gulf Coast.

They are volunteering their time to comfort those impacted in the storm. They are risking their lives to save others. They are working around the clock to provide shelters for people who lost everything.

In a time of tragedy, they act as a silver lining. They are heroes, and they deserve thanks.

People of Beaufort County have seen firsthand what the damages of a hurricane and widespread flooding can do, as Hurricane Matthew struck eastern North Carolina less than a year ago. It’s time to remember the damage endured through Matthew and use that energy to help the people impacted by Harvey.

Consider helping those in need — those who have lost everything. A small donation can go a long way in times of devastation.