Red Cross volunteers from Hawaii bringing aloha to the Lone Star State


Thousands of volunteers are flocking to Texas to help with recovery and cleanup and that includes volunteers with the Hawaii Red Cross.

We’re told some of the volunteers were supposed to leave Hawaii Sunday night but their flight schedule was delayed because all flights to Houston have been cancelled.

Eight volunteers from the Hawaii Red Cross are bringing their aloha to the Lone Star State.

One volunteer is already on the ground in Texas, the others will be leaving over the next 24 hours.

We’re told the Red Cross plans to have 4,000 volunteers in the affected areas by Tuesday and they could be in Texas for a while.

“A minimum of two weeks I’ll be there but I could be there one month, two months. Tt really depends on the need,” Hawaii volunteer Emily Kukulies said.

Kukulies is leaving for Texas on Monday and told KHON2 she’ll be working with different agencies to coordinate needs for people affected.

“My emotions going into this, I mean your heart’s broken when people have this kind of devastation,” Kukulies said. “Right now we’re primarily doing sheltering, feeding, helping people get connected to resources and providing comfort.”

Kukulies has deployed with the Red Cross before to other disasters like Superstorm Sandy on the East coast and said it’s all a learning experience.

“That helps us in Hawaii to be ready if something happens here. We’re gaining the skills of what it’s like to deal with hundreds of thousands of people affected.”

Meanwhile, those in the Harvey’s path are anxiously waiting for the rain to stop.

“It stops for a few minutes and then it starts again. Just when you thought that it’s over, it starts again,” Naida Dela Cruz, a former Waipahu resident, said. “It’s surreal, we’re really not familiar with this kind of hurricane so it’s really scary.”

Dela Cruz is now living in Sugar Land, Texas which is southwest of Houston.

She snapped photos of storm damage in a neighborhood not far from her house.

“It landed about 15 minutes away from our place and the trees are like sticks. It was broken in two and houses were ripped. It was pretty scary,” Dela Cruz said.

The Red Cross said a monetary donation is the best thing you can provide for those in need.

You can donate by calling at 1-800-RED-CROSS, online at redcross.org, or you can text HARVEY to 90999 to make a $10 donation.

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