Akron Red Cross volunteer says damage in Houston is horrendous, spirit remains strong

Posted at 4:10 PM, Sep 04, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-04 16:34:13-04

Before leaving Akron for Houston last Wednesday, Charley Snyder said the damage from Hurricane Harvey didn't seem real.

But now that the 40-year-old nightclub manager has witnessed the destruction firsthand - it's very real. Each day, he experiences another reminder of the wicked storm's impact.

"It's horrendous. I've seen damage that just surprised me as well as the water levels that are still up so high," Snyder said.

Speaking with News 5 via FaceTime on Monday, Snyder explained the water is still ten-feet high in some neighborhoods and debris from many ruined homes continues to clutter streets.

"The neighborhoods, the effect to some of the lower-lying neighborhoods where everything is just gone. You can see where the water line was. I would say the worst thing that we've seen is the flooding."

RELATED: Two local Red Cross volunteers head south to help victims of Hurricane Harvey

Snyder has witnessed other sad surprises involving pets. On Monday morning, an emotional woman dropped off a puppy at a Red Cross staging area.

"She handed one of the volunteers her dog and said, 'I'm running from the flood. I can't take care of him and keep my family safe. Can you please get him somewhere?'"

Snyder, who will remain in Texas for ten more days, has taken pictures and videos to document the widespread damage, while also focusing on the mission to help thousands in need.

Snyder is part of several Red Cross crews bringing food and water to many people who desperately need it.

"We put 750 meals out of our ERV's (Emergency Response Vehicles) yesterday alone in an eight-hour shift," Snyder said.

Snyder said he continues to be touched by Houston's spirit. Despite the devastation, many of Harvey's victims remain upbeat and they greet volunteers with a smile and a thank you.

"Houston is an amazing city. I've never been here, but the camaraderie and the love they show to one another is just amazing."