The Red Cross in Maine is sending workers to Texas this weekend to help out in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.

Laurie Levine is among them, building on what she called a “life-changing experience” helping out after Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans in 2005. Levine helped run a shelter for victims of that storm in Jacksonville, Florida.

“It was quite an experience,” she said. The people who fled the storm “had nothing except the shirts on their backs.”

After Katrina, Levine, who had been a stay-at-home mom, decided to go to work for the Red Cross. She is a state relations coordinator, helping to make sure the Red Cross and state and local agencies work together in an emergency.

In Texas, she expects to do similar work, coordinating recovery efforts between Red Cross volunteers and local groups.

Levine said she last deployed out of state for the Red Cross in 2015, when she went to Alaska to help groups coordinate efforts during an outbreak of wildfires.

Red Cross volunteers are being sent to Dallas for Hurricane Harvey recovery efforts, she said, because the Houston airport, closer to where the hurricane was expected to come ashore late Friday night, is closed. Her flight from Portland left Friday evening, and she expects to be taken by bus to Houston on Saturday.

Staff Writer Edward D. Murphy

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