Texas homeowners: We weren't warned about flooding risks

FILE - In this Sept. 4, 2017, file photo, a car is submerged in floodwater in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey near the Addicks and Barker Reservoirs in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip, File)

David J. Phillip

Anyone would be expected to be exhausted after two trips to southern Texas in less than one month to assist with Hurricane Harvey relief efforts. Killeen resident Larry Smith, however, is just getting started.

“This will be my third trip down there,” Smith said. “We are going to the Hamshire area, which is a staging area for the Cajun Army, and they will have up-to-date information on where to go from there.”

Smith said the main purpose of the trip is to take medical supplies to the people in need, particularly the elderly.

“Humidity and mold from the water will start causing massive, massive health problems,” he said. “We are looking to collect a lot of nebulizers and a lot of doses for them. We want to take them down to food stations and train the volunteers there on how to use them to help treat people that may need help.”

Nebulizers are portable devices that work similarly to inhalers, in that they deliver a blast of medicine that helps clear people’s airways. Smith said the group of Killeen-area residents he will travel with has four nebulizers and several doses for each, and the plan is to have them available at food stations for anyone suffering from symptoms of mold exposure.

“The areas we are going to now do not have any state or federal support right now,” Smith said.

“They are relying just on volunteers for help.”

Smith said, based on what he has seen, the victims of Hurricane Harvey are most in need of medical supplies, cleaning supplies and building supplies.

“The worst thing people could send right now is clothes,” he said. “There is nowhere to put them, they get rained on and then they become part of the problem.”

Smith is planning to head to Hamshire Sunday afternoon, and hopes to stay until Tuesday evening. Smith is also willing to take donations from area residents with him, and asks that people interested in donating to Harvey victims contact him at 830-339-1146.

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