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Communities Pull Together To Fill Semi Bound For Texas
Updated August 31, 2017 3:43 AM
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Evacuees at the Bob Bowers Civic Center in Port Arthur face flooding again as waters rise at the shelter.

(UNDATED) - Several communities are coming together to help those hit by Hurricane Harvey.

While countless Houstonians are still waiting for rescue, Tropical Storm Harvey on Wednesday swallowed Port Arthur, Texas.

CNN reported at least 31 deaths related to Hurricane Harvey and its aftermath have been reported. One of them, Houston police Sgt. Steve Perez, drowned while trying to get to work.

Aaron Sylvester and his family will be transporting a semi loaded with needed supplies to Pearland Church of Christ in Texas.

The family and other volunteers will have the semi parked at the Bedford Rural King Thursday and Friday from open to close to accept needed donations.

"Nothing will be turned away," says Aaron's wife Marie Lewis. "We will then move to a location in Bloomington to gather donations there."

The semi and fuel is being donated by Norm Graber, out of Odon. The trailer was donated by Don Carnahan, out of Carlisle.

"My husband (Aaron Sylvester) and my father Jim Lewis will be driving the semi to make the 17 hour trip," Marie says.

In Beaumont, Texas rescuers Tuesday afternoon came upon a toddler in a pink backpack clinging to her mother's body in floodwaters about a half mile from their car. The girl was in stable condition with hypothermia.

"Had we been a few moments later, they would have been swept underneath (a trestle) and our boats wouldn't have been able to get them," Haley Morrow, spokeswoman for the Beaumont Emergency Management Office, told CNN on Wednesday. "A true testament of a mother who put her own life at risk and sacrificed her life to save her child. That was devastating."

In Port Arthur - about 90 miles east of the devastated Houston area - the deluge was so severe that floodwaters overwhelmed the Bob Bowers Civic Center, which was serving as a shelter. It was evacuated Wednesday after taking on water overnight, according to volunteer Ana Platero.

Cots where people slept the night before floated on 2 feet of water Wednesday as people waited on tables or sat on elevated bleachers to be evacuated to a nearby middle school.

"We would like to fill the trailer and leave hopefully Monday arriving Tuesday evening," Marie says.

Items needed are bottled water, non perishable food items, hygiene products, baby products, paper products( plates, cups, napkins, utensils) blankets, pillows, cleaning supplies, etc.

"We have family there and that's why we are doing this," Marie added. "The devastation is awful and in the days and weeks to come it's going to get worse as the water recedes and the aftermath is left. We won't turn away any donations."

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