By EMMETT BURNETT
With rain measured in feet, damage estimated in billions and entire communities flooded, Mobile County has joined the rest of the nation in assisting with recovery and aid efforts for those in Texas affected by the damage created by Hurricane Harvey.
As of Aug. 29, the storm, which made landfall as a Category 4, was still a Tropical Storm. Travel to coastal Texas remained unsafe and in many parts unpassable. In Mobile and America, however, many are sitting on Go.
Mobile area groups spent last week finalizing response plans, logistics, staffing and funding measures. Many used the wait for deployment to check equipment and make final preparations.
“We make sure batteries are charged and everything is operational and in place to be ready when called,” said Pastor Roy Hill of First Baptist Church in Satsuma. “We will wait on our disaster relief program to tell us where to go and set up.”
The Satsuma church’s response includes a fully operational, trailer-mounted laundry facility complete with four washing machines, which will travel to Texas. “The unit is self-contained, all we need is a water hookup,” Pastor Hill added. “We can wash thousands of loads of clothes.”
Michael Brown, director of the South Alabama Red Cross District, is already dispatched — in Louisiana. “All eyes are on the skies,” he said by phone from New Orleans. “Our district covers through the Baton Rouge area, which is where our resources are being staged. If New Orleans, Baton Rouge and other areas come out of this OK, we will send resources into Texas.”
At press time, Aug. 29, southwest Louisiana was expected to receive 10 inches of rain.
In a late August tweet, The Mobile County Sherriff’s Office noted, “We are loaded for Houston.” A mobile command unit is set to leave equipped to cook for area first responders. Several Mobile County Sheriff’s deputies will make the trip. The MCSO noted, “We will post pictures and let you know as a community how to assist.”
No stranger to hurricanes, the Dauphin Island Chamber of Commerce posted on Facebook, “We are now accepting monetary donations. All cash and checks will be given over to the Dauphin Island Foundation for dispersing. Please message the chamber if you would like to donate. Thank you all so much for what has already been given!”
In addition, the Town of Dauphin Island, Delta Disaster Services and other island businesses are contributing to a Hurricane Harvey Disaster Relief Effort. The island encouraged Labor Day visitors to drop off new and original packaged items at any Dauphin Island realtor’s office. Supplies will be collected and transported to affected hurricane areas. Products needed include: bug spray, gloves, plastic/rubber totes with lids, unused new flat boxes and packing tape, contractor trash bags, tarps, plastic sheeting, dish soap, bleach sponges, dish scrub brushes, hand/dish towels, new socks, playing cards, paper products, diapers, toiletries, feminine products, towels, blankets, crayons/coloring books and over-the-counter medications.
The Jake Peavy Foundation is teaming up with Mobile’s Pathway Church, accepting donations. Diapers, baby food, canned goods, hygiene products, medicine and cleaning supplies will be collected at Pathway Church, 7200 Moffet Road in Mobile until 7 p,m, tonight (Wednesday, Aug. 30). Donations can also be made through the church’s website: wwwpathwaychurch.us.
Agency contacts include the American Red Cross at 251-544-6110 or text HARVEY90999 to donate $10 per message. The Salvation Army can be reached locally at 251-479-2389. Most charities contacted are still working out details and will make their plans known known during the coming days.
Reese’s Senior Bowl collecting items
The Reese’s Senior Bowl is a drop-off location for Hurricane Harvey relief items organized by The Cheese Cottage. They will be delivering to Houston on Wednesday, Sept. 6. Please have items dropped off at 151 Dauphin Street by Tuesday, Sept. 5. The Senior Bowl office is open Monday through friday from 9:30 a.m. until 4 p.m. (except Labor Day)
Items sought include: diapers, baby wipes, blankets, toiletries, pillows, socks and underwear. No clothing except socks and underwear. All articles should be new and unused please.
Charity Champel Volunteer Fire Department
The Charity Chapel Volunteer Fire Department is collecting donations for Hurricane Harvey victims in the Huffman-Dayton, Texas, area to be distributed by the First Penecostal Church of God in Huffman. Items are needed as soon as possible, with a scheduled delivery date of Sept. 5. To donate, contact William Persinger at 936-641-3514 or T.J. Downey at 251-518-9923.
Items needed include: baby items: diapers, wipes, formula, baby food and baby shampoo; toiletries: soap, shampoo, toothbrushes, toothpaste, toilet paper, paper towels and Kleenex; food: non-perishable food and dry goods; paper products: paper plates, disposable silverware, disposable cups and ziplock bags; cleaning supplies: Lysol wipes, bleach, disinfectants and garbage bags. Also needed are new underclothes and prepaid Visa or Walmart gift cards.