Portland company sends crews to Texas in wake of Harvey - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Portland company sends crews to Texas in wake of Harvey

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Fred Tharin of Disaster Response Services prepares to head to Texas to help with Harvey recovery efforts. (WFSB) Fred Tharin of Disaster Response Services prepares to head to Texas to help with Harvey recovery efforts. (WFSB)
PORTLAND,CT (WFSB) -

Following the devastating effects of storm Harvey in Texas, people in Connecticut have been finding ways to help those impacted by it.

Disaster Restoration Services out of Portland, CT said it is sending crews to the Houston area.

"Every little bit helps," said Fred Tharin, Disaster Restoration Services.

Tharin was loading cases of water into a truck on Wednesday when Eyewitness News caught up with him. He was preparing for a 30 hour drive to Texas.

"They said, how soon can I go? And I'm like, 'I'll pack a bag tonight and leave,'" he said.

DRS responds to disasters and helps clean up the damage left by fires, water or storms.

It brings air movers, dehumidifiers, generators and a desire to help those in need.

"We keep sending personnel down there , whether we fly them down or load up trucks to head them down," said Tammy Strong, vice president, DRS.

Strong said her brother Danny traveled to the Lone Star State ahead of Harvey.

She said he hunkered down before the former category 4 hurricane made landfall, then lingered over the coast for days.

"Rather the equipment sitting on the shelves, he's able to help out and do something," Strong said.

She said her crew will be working 12 to 15 hour days in the Corpus Christi, Portland and Rockport areas of Texas.

"We bought a travel trailer so we can house them," Strong said. "We can have their generators because where there working is at least two hours out before they have power."

One of DRS's project managers is taking part in the recovery effort. He got a phone call he never expected to get.

"[The caller] said he had 3 percent battery, he had three little kids, his wife and his elderly mother that needed help," said Brian Soule, project manager. "And he had no way to get a hold of 911 because no one was picking up and the water was coming up."

Soule said the man in Houston found DRS's number online and was desperate to get in contact with anyone.

"This is the first time someone ever called me for help, like that," Soule said. "Usually, they have a pipe broken and water running in their kitchen, not that they're trapped in their house."

Strong said DRS is looking for volunteers if anyone wants to help.

"We are looking for other personnel if they are interested in providing services [like] demo services, labor services," she said. "Just to help and support us, we are shipping down there and/or busing people down there because it is an all hands on deck situation."

It's unclear how long DRS crews will be in Texas.

Strong said the crews expect to be there for at least two months.

For more information about DRS, head to its website here.

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