Locals preparing to help out in Texas
With Hurricane Harvey still dumping several feet of rain in the eastern part of Texas, some local and regional citizens are preparing to go there to help in support of flood victims and possible rescue operations this week.
Gilmer County Fire/EMA Chief Tony Pritchett said four staff members are ready to go.
“We have four folks that are on standby with the state search and rescue unit,” he said Monday.
“Until they deploy, all our units will be here because we don’t deploy unless state activation sends us out there.”
Pritchett said the team was still on standby Tuesday morning.
Carla Kelley, the disaster program manager for the American Red Cross of Northwest Georgia (which includes Gilmer), said three area men are headed that way or getting ready to deploy.
“We actually have a volunteer from Blue Ridge who is on a plane right now,” she said Monday.
“He’s headed to Baton Rouge, which is our staging area. An Ellijay man is going for one week initially, leaving Tuesday. A Cherry Log man is going for two weeks. He hasn’t been assigned yet, but our anticipation for him is he’ll be leaving Sept. 1 to help support health services.
“They’re both still in the process, you could say, but both will be deployed.”
The Times-Courier is not publishing the names of the men because of the length of their deployment, but the Red Cross is advising them that the newspaper is interested in their experiences after they return.
Jeffrey Putnam, the executive director of the Northwest Georgia chapter, said in an email he was deploying to Texas on Tuesday morning. He thanked community members for the support of Red Cross staff members and volunteers, and its mission.