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Hurricane Laura: Volunteer rescue organization asking for help ahead of landfall

Staff with CrowdSource Rescue said their No. 1 need is more volunteers.

AUSTIN, Texas — Volunteer rescue organization CrowdSource Rescue is asking for volunteers as Hurricane Laura heads toward landfall on the Texas and Louisiana coasts. 

On Wednesday afternoon, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott urged Texans in the Category 4 storm's path to evacuate. Abbott explained tropical force winds are expected to hit Texas around 7 p.m. Wednesday and the hurricane itself will make landfall around 1 a.m.

Hurricane Laura is expected to cause an unsurvivable storm surge that will travel 30 miles inland, so Abbott said first responders and volunteers will not be able to get to people to conduct rescues between 7 p.m. Wednesday and 9 a.m. Thursday.

But volunteers across Texas are preparing to help their neighbors in the storm's aftermath. 

The group CrowdSource Rescue was formed during Hurricane Harvey. The Houston-based nonprofit uses technology to connect first responders and rescue volunteers with people who need help.

CrowdSource Rescue teams have already had to travel to the Beaumont/Port Arthur area to help people who didn't evacuate by the county's deadline.

"I think people sometimes assume that there's going to be shelters or some sort of something that they can go to," said Loren Dykes, the operations lead for CrowdSource Rescue. "In this case, because it is such a strong storm and it may or may not be such a direct hit to this area, there are no local shelters available for them right now."

Dykes said the No. 1 thing the group needs right now is volunteers. Click here to sign up to help.

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