Tiverton man heads to Texas to help Harvey victims

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WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — As floodwaters continue to rise in Texas, a Tiverton man left Monday to help with the recovery efforts.

Monday marked the fourth day of downpours due to Hurricane Harvey. Houston’s mayor estimates city police rescued more than 3,000 people since the storm made landfall while the U.S. Coast Guard said it rescued an additional 3,000 by boat and air. There have been at least three confirmed deaths but many people still remain in harm’s way.

Seeing the impacts of the storm, Paul Silverzweig said he couldn’t sit idly by. The Tiverton resident is involved in multiple emergency relief agencies, but this was his first trip with the Rhode Island Red Cross.

“I do a lot of emergency communications and going on a thing like this is something I feel… it’s what I do,” Silverzweig said Monday.

“I don’t know entirely what I’m doing, and I don’t mind,” he added. “On the one hand I have the adrenaline and I’m looking forward to this. On the other end, there’s a bit of anxiety on my part.”

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Silverzweig said he hopes his story will inspire others to give any way they can.

“I don’t enjoy the helpless feeling, and I know they feel helpless,” he said. “If you can help, that’s the thing to do.”

Silverzweig is encouraging other New Englanders to help, whether by donating time or money. If nothing else, he said preparing your own family for a natural disaster helps organizations like the Red Cross.

“Knowing what to do yourself when this happens, because that makes it easy for all of us and a lot less expensive all the way around.”