NewsLocal News


Big Bend area utility companies help communities struck by Ida

The ways you can get involved to help
Posted at 6:24 PM, Aug 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-30 19:28:06-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Coming together to help in the aftermath of Ida, how our community is stepping up to serve the hardest hit in Louisiana, is just a matter of doing the right thing.

Liberty County Sheriff, Walter “Buddy” Money, said, "to see them get emotional and to actually not talk because their emotions are running so high." Sheriff Money, who's been involved in many disaster relief efforts, said people see this help as a gift.

In the Big Bend, Liberty County Sheriff's Office, Emergency Management, and the Blountstown Police Department are collecting donations from the community to take to Gonzales. Returning the favor to the Gonzales community, who helped Liberty County clean up after Hurricane Michael. The sheriff already talking to Gonzales PD in Ascension Parish to get two cargo trucks full of supplies out by Friday.

Liberty County Chief Deputy, Dusty Arnold, added: "before the eyewall even hit Gonzales there were already three officers their roofs were torn off its devastation just like we had with Hurricane Michael and that's the whole idea helping these guys get back on their feet."

From Georgia, an electric lineman from Thomasville utilities will be helping the people of St. Martinville, a five-person team planning to stay as long as needed. At the coast, Franklin County is counting on the community to donate essential items for the people of Lafourche Parish.

Franklin County Sheriff, AJ Smith, said: "We do it because it's the right thing to do."

The Franklin County Sheriff's Department is working with local businesses to set up donation sites across Franklin County.

Sheriff AJ Smith says community members are already taking the lead. Sheriff Smith added, "what's more important than that to know a semi-load of water is coming to have fresh water to drink and ice to keep food cold when there's no electricity for days."

To support the sheriff's office, tractor-trailers provided by local Franklin County restaurants will also be heading to Lafourche Parish and the surrounding areas full of community donations. Smith said, "when there's a catastrophic event that happens to our neighbors we're not divided and maybe it's a way to bring us together in the future."

A list of donation items they're looking for and where to drop them off are on the Liberty and Franklin County Sheriff's Office and Blountstown Police Facebook pages. Franklin County is also accepting monetary donations to its charity fund to purchase supplies.