Volunteer shares his up-close-and-personal look at Harvey

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Volunteer shares his up, close and personal look at Harvey. Dann Cuellar reports during Action News at 11 p.m. on August 30, 2017. (WPVI)

One Red Cross volunteer talked to Action News by phone to give us some perspective of how bad things are, and what they're doing to help those in need.

Fred Vielhauer, 71, is among those from Philadelphia's Red Cross out in Houston. He's been there since Friday and said on Thursday they - and the people in the Lone Star State, sharing in Harvey's misery - got a sight for sore eyes.

"The sun is out today," he said.

But while the sun returned, the flood waters continued to cause chaos.

"Couple of the shelters that we have down here got flooded out, it rained so hard, the shelters are underwater," Vielhauer said.

All day long, volunteers have been pulling people out of flood waters with more than 32,000 in shelters.

"Everywhere you look out on the roads and places, the water is so high, and you'd think it will take a long time for it to go down," Vielhauer added.

They've been working with the Coast Guard and National Guard, using helicopters to take supplies to those in need.

"They're landing here with their helicopters taking supplies out to people, taking meals out by helicopter to certain areas," Vielhauer said.

Vielhauer says his heart just bleeds for those caught in the wake of the devastation, which he believes is as bad - if not worse - than Katrina and Sandy.

"First, gotta make sure all the water recedes so that they can go back in their homes, I don't know how long that's gonna take. The water is so high, it's hard to explain how high it is," he continued.

Vielhauer has been with the Red Cross for 13 years, and has helped people through Katrina, Sandy and now Harvey. Why does he do it?

"After you help somebody that has just gone through what they have gone through down here, and they give you a smile and thank you, that makes it worth the whole trouble of doing what you do," Vielhauer said.

Fred Vielhauer says he may be down in Houston for up to two months.

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weatherphiladelphia newshurricane harvey
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