HOUSTON — A Houston-based rescue group founded during Hurricane Harvey is among those responding to Hurricane Ida.
Many people left Louisiana to seek safety here in the Houston area while volunteers from here headed east.
“I have my backup canoe and we’ve for some boating responders coming in,” said Paul Middendorf of Houston.
Middendorf was ready to join an army of fellow volunteers in Louisiana to help those impacted by Ida.
“I can be boots on the ground immediately, meet up with our other connecting search and rescue teams to do assessments, to check out facilities such as elderly facilities,” he said.
Middendorf is with Houston-based CrowdSource Rescue, a non-profit founded four years ago during Hurricane Harvey as a way to connect those in need with volunteers.
“The way it worked is, if you needed a rescue during Harvey, you put a little pin on the map and then rescuers nearby would send that and, as we all know, thousands ended up rescuing in Harvey,” said CrowdSource Rescue co-founder Matthew Marchetti.
Marchetti said it’s only grown since Harvey, and hundreds of affiliated citizen first responders from multiple states will be responding this week.
“Now we’re working with more certified search and rescue teams that are already over there in Louisiana,” he said.
Middendorf said he’s grateful Ida bypassed the Houston area, but hated to think he’s back in Louisiana after working two other devastating storms just last year.
“I mean, it’s just been pummeled non-stop and they just can’t get a break,” said Middendorf.
CrowdSource started fielding calls from desperate people in need of rescue as soon as Ida’s impact was evident. Members of Marchetti’s own family were among those hunkered down in Houma, Louisiana.
A number of other groups with Houston ties are working in Louisiana, as well. And rapper and activist Trae Tha Truth tells us his Relief Gang is also mapping out a response plan.