Charlotte firefighters, churches helping with Harvey recovery in Texas

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - It has been a week of constant rescues and unbridled heroism in the Lone Star state. Escaping the waters of Hurricane Harvey for many has meant navigating rough currents in boats.

For those who have been stranded on their roofs, extra eyes in the sky are making a difference, and some of those high above in Texas are on loan from the Charlotte Fire Department.

Deputy Chief Rich Grainger was among those giving the team headed to Texas their marching orders.

"They've been flying reconnaissance and checking out. They've been moving in around a couple of different areas to check in and see what's going on and relay information to the authorities," Grainger said.

Easing the pain of hardship and heartbreak are the goals of first responders, and Charlotte's faith community is also stepping in and helping out.

For the next two weekends, uptown's Saint Peters Catholic Church and other Catholic churches in the diocese will take up special collections to aid those who are hurting.

Father John Michalowski heads up the congregation at St. Peters Catholic Church.

"That's what makes us human - the ability to have compassion, to have love and to work together," Michalowski said.

Work may come to more local firefighters who may soon answer the call for this kind of response.

"Our guys are always ready to go and want to go. Unfortunately, we're a long ways away and it takes a little time to get there," Grainger said.

By Wednesday afternoon, Charlotte firefighters had made the first helicopter rescue in flood-ravaged Texas when they pulled a stranded woman to safety.

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