Local Red Cross volunteer deploys to Texas after devastating winter storm

COLUMBIA (WOLO): Texas is thawing out after a devastating winter storm last week, and three South Carolina American Red Cross volunteers have deployed to the Lone Star State to give back to the struggling community.

3,000 meals, 2 semi-trucks full of water, and a warehouse ready to serve the small town of Lufkin, Texas. Julienne Correa deployed there from Greenville, South Carolina Monday, as part of the DES team with the American Red Cross of South Carolina.

“DES is the Disaster Emergency Supply team. So we’re the people that load up trucks and go to the most vulnerable areas to deliver much needed supplies,” explained Correa from the Red Cross warehouse in Lufkin, Texas. 

A volunteer since 2019, Correa has seen it all, from wildfires to hurricanes, but she says this has surprised her- as it’s unlike any disaster she’s responded to before. “I was there during Hurricane Laura where you drive around where you see homes completely devastated. Here it’s different because it’s on the inside of the house. So we have people whose house looks fine on the outside, but you go inside and the water pipes have burst, and so there’s all this flooding they’re dealing with, so they don’t have water; they don’t have electricity.”

But relief is on the way. On her two week deployment to the Lone Star State, the Red Cross is focusing on three primary supplies: food, water, and cleanup.  Thousands of what they call, ‘Heater Meals,” lined the warehouse, along with buckets filled with cleaning supplies, like brushes, sponges, and bleach.

After experiencing a disaster of her own in 2017, that of the California Wildfires, Correa says she’s felt what it’s like to be on the other side, and encourages other South Carolinians to give back as well. “We sleep on cots, we work really long hours, and it pales to what the people having this experience are going through, so it is really a joy to be able to give back.”


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