With many Runnels County natives living in the Gulf Coast region, local citizens are rallying to volunteer to help the flood and storm ravaged victims of Hurricane Harvey.

Hurricane Harvey slammed in to the Gulf Coast Friday and proceeded to dump several feet of rain on cities in its path, like Port Aransas, Rockport, Port Lavaca and Galveston as well as the fourth largest city in the nation, Houston.

With many Runnels County natives living in the Gulf Coast region, local citizens are rallying to volunteer to help the flood and storm ravaged victims of Hurricane Harvey.

Ballinger native Wayne Hail, who lives in New Caney north of Houston, posted on social media that he and his family were without power Monday, and that grocery stores are emptying and gas stations have no fuel. He said that 26 inches of rain had fallen in his area at the time, but so far, his family had not experienced dreaded flooding.

"Thank you Ballinger! My hometown!" Hail, posted Monday. "I'm sitting in the dark in New Caney, just north of Houston. We lost power a little over 24 hours ago. We have had so many tornado warnings they pretty much go ignored now. We have had 26 inches of rain and it's still raining. A few grocery stores were open but, the trucks that resupply them can't get through. The same with gas stations. I am lucky, we are dry for now. The devastation here is unmatched by Hurricane Ike or Hurricane Katrina. Tropical Storm Allison is a close second but this is a much larger scale. It is with much appreciation that your volunteers and help will be received. Keep Houston in your prayers. Thank you."

There are many folks in that area with ties to Runnels County, so almost immediately, the caring folks throughout the county, got busy to go and assist the victims of this tragic storm that at press time had flooded and destroyed homes and businesses and claimed the lives of eight people.

On Friday, Bobbie and Larry Collum of North Runnels EMS left for Houston after the state called for assistance.

Teresa Walden, of North Runnels Hospital said Monday that both were reportedly doing fine and were assisting victims at NRG Stadium.

Russell Byler of Byler Dirt Construction was gathering water and “non-perishable items” Monday to be transported to victims in Houston on Wednesday. He is also taking a boat to assist in any way possible.

“We are taking a trailer load of fuel and water and other items,” Byler said. Byler, who has been in contact with Department of Public Safety Trooper Jack McRea who is in the hurricane zone, said Garrett Willliams, Dustin Dozier and Wesley Earnshaw were traveling with him to provide assistance. The group was to head to Port O’Connor to drop off the items.

The Ballinger High School FCCLA (Family, Career and Community Leaders of America) chapter will be collecting hygiene items such as soap, shampoo, toothpaste and tooth brushes, combs, brushes and deodorant at the school campuses and around town through Friday. Folks can bring their donation to the Ballinger pep rally on Friday at Ballinger High School. Contact Julie Halfmann at BHS 325-365-7500 for more information.

Pastor Al Brakke of St. John’s Lutheran Church is also leading the charge in Winters to collect monetary donations. Brakke, who also represents the Winters Ministerial Alliance, said citizens could donate to their local churches and to the newly reorganized Salvation Army in winters. He said that those who wish to donate items may take them to Samaritan House in Winters.

“The response from the communities and the assistance is a great showing of love from the community of Winters and beyond,” Brakke said.

First Baptist Church in Ballinger had two members, Jim Fryer and Archie Gallant, who deployed with the Texas Baptist Men to help feed victims and volunteers, Pastor Nathan Pruett said.

“We are also collecting a special offering this week and half will go to the local chapter of Texas Baptist Men to help with immediate relief efforts,” Pruett explained. “The other half will go to CBF (Cooperative Baptist Fellowship) Texas to help with long term recovery. CBF Texas will distribute it to local churches in the affected areas.”

The Lake Ivie Baptist Association is taking donations of non-perishable items. The office is open daily from 8 a.m. to noon and is located at 106 S. 8th Street in Ballinger. Starr Sims is manning the office there and if anyone has a donation after office hours, contact her at 325-718-7402.

In addition, members of the Eden and Paint Rock volunteer fire departments in Concho County have traveled to Houston with flat-bottomed boats to assist with rescue efforts.

Hurricane Harvey ravaged the Texas Coast, and has left Houston — the nation's fourth-largest city — grappling with unprecedented flooding. Do you need help? Or do you want to help those in need? Check out the resources below.

If you’re a victim of Hurricane Harvey ...

Rescue and evacuation

• If you’re considering evacuating your home, the Houston Chronicle is compiling a map of flooded streets.

• If you’re in Harris County, call 713-426-9404 with questions about shelters; call 713-881-3100 for rescue efforts.

• Several counties have issued mandatory or voluntary evacuations over the past several days. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is keeping a running list of those counties on his website. Keep in mind, the director of the federal Hurricane Harvey relief efforts has warned people in flooded regions not to get into their cars, which could put more lives at risk and drain resources that could be used to rescue citizens elsewhere.

Shelter and relief

• Following reports that several Texans are missing in midst of the storm, the Red Cross is encouraging people to list themselves and their families as safe by clicking here. You can also receive disaster assistance from the Red Cross by calling 877-500-8645, or find a list of open shelters here.

• Call the United Way Helpline at 211 for information on shelters and other forms of assistance.

• To report a missing child, call the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at 1-866-908-9570.

• For those looking for refuge, Texas State Park camping is free to hurricane evacuees.

If you want to help victims of Hurricane Harvey …

Help with rescue efforts

• If you have a boat or a safe high-water vehicle, the Harris County Sheriff’s Office wants your help; the office put out a call on Twitter for residents to help with rescues. Call 713-881-3100 to help.

• Portlight Strategies is working to help to help older adults and those with disabilities.

• The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals of Texas is helping displaced animals. You can donate at www.spca.org/give or sign up to adopt a displaced animal at www.spca.org/foster. Austin Pets Alive, which transferred more than 200 pets to its shelter as of Saturday morning, is also seeking help.

Provide shelter and supplies

• Food banks are asking for nonperishable staples like canned meat and dry goods, as well as cleaning supplies; the Houston Food Bank, Galveston County Food Bank, Food Bank of the Golden Crescent and Corpus Christi Food Bank all accept online donations. See the Houston Press’s list of names and contact information for more food banks here.

• Donate food or cash to food banks in your area. Or you can donate to Feeding Texas, a network of food banks across the state. Find your local food bank here.

• You can also open your home to disaster victims through Airbnb.

• Make a cash or diaper donation to the Texas Diaper Bank, which is providing emergency diaper kits to displaced families.

Make a donation

• Several local and national organizations are collecting donations for general disaster relief efforts, including the United Way, Salvation Army, Save the Children, Global Giving, Heart to Heart and Southern Baptist Disaster Relief. Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt has set up a flood relief fund, backing the effort with his own $100,000 donation.

• Gofundme has curated a list of Harvey relief efforts, with fundraisers for individual cities, families and homes.

• Individuals and corporations can donate to hurricane relief efforts through the Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster.

• You can help Hurricane Harvey victims by texting HARVEY to 90999 to give $10 to the Red Cross (or by visiting RedCross.org to give any other amount).

• The Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund, established by Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, is accepting donations for flood victims.

The Texas Tribune assisted with this report.