Kansans are rolling up their sleeves — and rolling down the highway — to lend a hand to rescue efforts after Hurricane Harvey battered Houston and other parts of Texas.
On Monday, Westar Energy crews from across Kansas were mobilizing at the Belle Plain rest area on Interstate 35 south of Wichita as they prepared to depart around noon.
Answering the call, about 40 Westar employees from various parts of the Kansas service area were preparing to leave for Houston early Monday afternoon. The workers include line crews and support personnel.
Meanwhile, 43 people and five emergency response vehicles from the American Red Cross had arrived in Texas as of Monday morning. The volunteers were from the Kansas, Nebraska and southwestern Iowa region, which includes the Kansas Capital Area Chapter of the American Red Cross based in Topeka.
Richard Dinsdale, a regional Red Cross communications director, said the personnel were primarily in the Austin and San Antonio areas, where they were helping set up shelters that will be needed by the thousands of people displaced by Hurricane Harvey.
Over the weekend, in the immediate aftermath of the storm, the Red Cross was offering shelter to around 2,000 people in 34 shelters.
At this point, there were two things needed at this point — volunteers and donations, Dinsdale said.
Those wishing to volunteer can sign up at www.redcross.org.
There are a couple of ways to make financial donations to the ongoing efforts of the American Red Cross. One is by going online to www.redcross.org, and another is by sending $10 donations by texting 90999 and the word “Harvey.”