Emily GirschAug 27, 2017, 7:01 pmAug 28, 2017, 8:34 pm

NJ Red Cross sends volunteers to Texas to help with relief efforts

Rescuers pluck hundreds from rising floodwaters in Houston


Hurricane Harvey dumped over 40 inches of rain on parts of Texas and Louisiana. Many who didn't evacuate are trapped in their homes in neighborhoods that are inundated with water.

While some are pointing the finger at the Mayor of Houston for not evacuating the city, Congressman Bill Pascrell says the city was not prepared.

"When I went out there myself I looked at the shelters. Houston had some confusion in evacuations," says Pascrell.

Governor Chris Christie also took questions on Harvey Monday and criticized the congressional leadership in Texas.

"The Congressional members in Texas are hypocrites," Christie remarked, claiming that many officials denied aid to New Jersey during Hurricane Sandy in 2012 and are now asking for help.

"When you're a state that has any kind of coast exposure to the gulf like Texas does you're going to wind up having some kind of disaster, then all of a sudden you're not going to want a conversation about philosophical niceties because people are suffering and dying," Christie said.

But both Pascrell and Christie both said that mistakes made during Hurricane Sandy would not prevent them from sending help to Houston.

"I'm going to be urging all of our members to rise above that and provide the aid as quickly as possible," Christie said.

The Red Cross in New Jersey is mobilizing hundreds of disaster relief workers with truckloads of kitchen supplies, ready-to-eat meals, cots and blankets for those in need.

More than 40 Red Cross emergency response vehicles are being dispatched with more on standby.

"It's vehicles like these that will be driving through those neighborhoods to provide meals, water disaster relief supplies," says Red Cross New Jersey Director of Communications Diane Concannon.

Concannon says providing temporary shelter for displaced families is the organization’s first priority.

"The Red Cross has shelters open to provide a safe haven for those families. It's a roof over their head, we'll be providing meals," Concannon says.

Anyone who would like to donate can do so at redcross.org.

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