Coast volunteers try to reach Texas, but it's not easy

Coast volunteers try to reach Texas, but it's not easy

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - "Wow. What a storm," Brad Orrison said in a text to WLOX News. Orrison is in Shreveport, Louisiana, and he's experiencing the squalls paralyzing Texas and Louisiana.

When storms paralyze communities, Orrison and other members of Operation BBQ Relief spring into action. The Shed's owner is part of that group.

The picture he paints about what it's like near the Texas border is scary. "At this point, even though we have police escorts for our caravan staged in Shreveport, we cannot get in as they are afraid we can also get flooded in."

Orrison headed to Texas on Friday, making contacts with people who would likely need help getting food to first responders, and storm victims. Two days later, this deployment is off to a much slower start than volunteers anticipated. "Our hearts are breaking for all those affected in Louisiana and Texas," Orrison said. "We are using this time to prepare even further."

Jamie Bates is providing similar assistance from a few hundred miles east of the storm zone. He's also part of Operation BBQ Relief. His immediate task is to find the necessary resources to support his group's recovery efforts. Bates is using Facebook to find the supplies his partners will need. "Looking for individuals and corporations interested to assist financially to help Operation BBQ Relief feed first responders, storm survivors and volunteers," he said in a Facebook post.

The relief team needs a dumpster service, grease traps, and an ice supplier to help at the cook site. Bates said his group's plan is to set up a large feeding operation.

According to Bates, Operation BBQ Relief arrives Sunday to confirm its feeding location. It's volunteers will likely be near Rockport, Texas, the town where Harvey made landfall.

The volunteer group's website says, "Operation BBQ Relief is mobilizing assets and securing resources to address the impending destruction that currently is in the path of Hurricane Harvey."

Back on the outskirts of the storm's impact zone, Brad Orrison shared a thought on so many minds. "We hope for the best for all involved," he said.

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