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Rescue work in Texas, Louisiana an 'emotional roller coaster'

Photo provided by Jamie Hough

Charleston, S.C. (WCIV)— The water is receding in parts of Texas, exposing just how much damage Harvey left behind. It’s hard to imagine one week ago Hurricane Harvey slammed into Texas, causing massive flooding.

People stepped up from all over the country to help in recovery and relief efforts and many of them are from right here in the Palmetto State.

Jamie Hough is one of them. He just got back into Charleston Saturday after a long week in Texas. He says he's not even sure how to process what he just went through. Seeing the devastation and how badly people were affected has put things in a whole new perspective.

Neighborhoods are submerged and homes destroyed. It’s the new reality for many in living in southeast Texas.

"In the backyard of the first house we pulled into it was 12 feet deep," Hough, Owner of Redfish Mafia Charter, said.

Hough and his crew took their boats and headed for Texas on Monday as part of the rescue mission.

"We probably put 180 to 220 people on dry land out of their houses, if I had to take a wild guess, over the course of four days," Hough said.

Hough says while the rain has stopped the water continues to be an issue.

"With more than Niagara Falls coming out of that levee and coming down towards those houses, it's probably going to take a day to get there. But when it does, it's going to come up. The worst is yet to come I’m telling ya,” Hough said.

He says shelters and churches are packed and supplies are dwindling.

"They need food, water, baby food, feminine products and cleaning products. Those are the things they need the most," Hough said.

The American Red Cross has 2,600 workers and volunteers on the ground helping. Ninety of them are from South Carolina.

"The best way to donate is financial donations. That really is the most effective and efficient way to donate money," Cuthbert Langley, the Regional Public Relations Officer for the Red Cross said.

Langley says it's still too early to tell the extent of the damage but thousands are without homes.

"The situation changes by the day, but this isn't just a day’s long recovery, we're going to be here for months helping these folks out," Langley said.

Hough says he was fortunate to make a difference.

"When they get on the boat and you see the look in their eyes of utter relief … they feel 100 percent secure, even though they don't know who you are,” Hough said.

It’s an experience he describes as an emotional roller coaster.

"We haven't had time to sit down and comprehend it. We left my buddy Todd down there, and it felt like we were leaving somebody behind when we left. ...After what we've been through, most people never go through it in their lives, much less share the experience with somebody. It's a bond that you can't imagine," Hough said.

Along with rescuing more than 200 people, he saved two dogs that were left behind. He named them Harvey and Beaumont.

A group of his friends left Friday to deliver more supplies to Texas. Hough urges people to keep donating and helping any way they can.

Donate to the American Red Cross

At this link you can make a donation that will go directly to Hurricane Harvey rescue and relief efforts. Be sure to click the dropdown menu and select "Hurricane Harvey." -- DONATE - You can also text the word HARVEY to 90999 to make a $10 donation.

Jamie Hough's Redfish Mafia fund - Venmo (@redfishmafia) or PayPal (theredfishmafia@gmail.com)

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