Central Texas prepared to respond to Hurricane Isaac
by Noel Brennan
WACO - As Hurricane Isaac churned in the Gulf Coast Tuesday afternoon, volunteers with the Heart of Texas chapter of the Red Cross stood by prepared to answer the call for help.
Three large trailers stocked full of cots, nursing kits, blankets and essential life supplies were parked in front of the Red Cross building off Cobbs Drive in Waco.
"Each of these trailers is equipped to set up a shelter for 150 people," said Disaster Services Specialist, Juli Ivie.
The three trailers are prepped and ready to go in case temporary shelters need to be put in place for hurricane evacuees. Ivie explained that four locations were designated as potential shelter sites in the Waco area. Two more potential shelter sites were chosen in the College Station area.
"[It's] an evacuation shelter where they can come in with their families and stay for a few days until they're allowed re-entry into where they came from," Ivie explained.
The Heart of Texas chapter of the American Red Cross also has an emergency response vehicle prepared to head to the gulf region. Ivie described the vehicle as a "kitchen on wheels" that would service those neighborhoods hardest hit by the storm.
Meanwhile, Central Texas restoration companies already sent crews to those areas expected to be hardest hit by Isaac's 80 mph winds and pounding rain.
Stuart Redding of Waco's Specialty Restoration started tracking Isaac's path and strength last week.
"We take that information and then we decide where we're going to send our crews," Redding explained.
Crews from Specialty Restoration drove down five truckloads of equipment to the Gulf Coast including generators, pumps and dehumidifiers. The equipment will come in handy as Isaac is expected to dump up to 20 inches of rain in some low lying areas.
"Wind comes in, blows the roof off, drops all the water in, or floods - that's where you get a ton of your damage," said Redding.
Isaac is just getting started. The Category 1 hurricane was expected to make landfall sometime late Tuesday night on the seventh anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.
Saturday, May 25 2013 12:04 AM EDT2013-05-25 04:04:15 GMT
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