DALLAS - Local agencies across the Metroplex are sending crews and supplies down to southeast Texas to help flood victims from Imelda who have been displaced from their homes.
The Texas Baptist Men already have two crews on the ground in the Beaumont area to feed first responders and flood victims, and they’re getting ready to send another feeding unit down as early as Saturday morning.
“It’s just heartbreaking. When this all started, we expected this to be a 10-12 inch rain,” said Dwain Carter, director of disaster relief for Texas Baptist Men.
It was just over two years ago when the Texas Baptist Men mobilized to help flood victims in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey in the Houston and Beaumont areas, only to return to some of those same areas again in the wake of tropical depression Imelda.
“Everybody’s calling this mini-Harvey,” Carter added. “Of course, there’s a lot of PTSD that’s happening right now with people.”
So far, TBM has two teams in the Beaumont area cooking more than 1,000 meals for first responders and flood victims who are seeking shelter.
“We have freezers on board, refrigerators on board,” Carter added.
Soon, they expect to send mobile kitchen units down to feed 10,000-15,000 meals a day.
“It’s almost crushing to see over and over, and over again, the same homes flood. But we go back in with that smile back on our face, and we love on people and encourage them,” Carter said.
TBM also has volunteers on the ground in the Beaumont area trying to assess the damage.
Jerry Ickes is one of them.
“On highway 90, I saw water, fields that were just completely covered with water, sometimes the floodwater was up to the shoulder of the road but not covering the road,” Ickes said. “It’s just a lot of water everywhere.”
Ickes said the rain has been almost nonstop for days, and he's having trouble getting to the areas that may need help.
“It was still raining when I started going to Beaumont. As I got closer to it, I got into more and more rain, which was another reason I decided to turn around and not go through the waters, because I didn’t know if it would get deeper before I could get back,” Ickes explained.
TBM has more crews ready to head down with supplies to help with the cleanup process. But for now, they have to wait until floodwaters start receding.
“As soon as the water goes down, you can’t do anything until the water goes down. But when the water goes down, we’ll roll people in,” Carter said.
Along with these resources, Red Cross of North Texas has sent six truckloads of supplies down to Houston.
Oncor officials say they are also on standby to help restore power to the area if needed.