Outlook: Vicksburg residents help Hurricane Ida victims – The Vicksburg Post
Allen Pugh, a Vicksburg resident, wanted to help those affected by Hurricane Ida, and when locals found out he was planning to bring supplies to those in need, donations started pouring in.
“People have been very generous. It has been incredible, ”Pugh said, adding that in times of crisis he had found people in his hometown who were answering the call.
“Everyone is like, ‘Where do we have to be, what do we have to do and what can we bring,'” he said.
As a Category 4 hurricane, Ida was a storm monster.
With wind speeds of 150 miles per hour it is now equal to 5e-the most powerful hurricane to ever hit the Americas.
It had been predicted that Vicksburg would be on Ida’s way, but luckily the storm veered east and residents were spared.
Sadly, this was not the case for many people living in parts of southern Louisiana, where Ida first made landfall.
New Orleans was left without power and cities like LaPlace and Grand Isle, Louisiana were devastated.
Growing up in a family that showed compassion to those in need, Pugh said, the desire to go and help those in Louisiana who lost electricity, water, homes and businesses came naturally. .
“When something like that happens, I just went to help out,” he said.
Pugh, who served in the military and was a member of the Vicksburg Fire Department, also reached out to those in need during the February ice storm and recently traveled to Alaska to help search for a another recipient of Purple Heart who had disappeared.
With his truck loaded with gasoline, water, non-perishable food and dog food, Pugh made his first trip to southeast Louisiana earlier this week.
He made stops in Amite, Luling, Galliano and Lockport, La.
On Friday, Vicksburg residents Charles and Christen Toney, along with Roy and Jaime Simmons, Melissa Reeves and Adam Logue left to do the same.
“We hope to get to point zero where they’ve been hit the hardest,” Christen said.
She said they had been in contact with some of the crews who are in the hardest hit areas and are aware that law enforcement checkpoints are turning people back, but said she was convinced that they would be able to pass.
“We have three trucks with trailers,” she said, which are loaded with three large containers of fuel, pallets of water and dog food.
Christen said she posted on Facebook that they will be delivering supplies to those affected by the storm, and the message has had a tremendous response.
People from out of state even responded, she said.
“It was unreal. People gave a lot of donations, ”she said, some of the donations being in the form of money. Over $ 10,000 has been received.
Christen said they used “a good chunk” of the money to buy tarps and fuel.
Food, paper plates, napkins and paper towels were also purchased.
“We’re going to cook for them while we’re there,” she said.
The Toney’s have a boat rental business in Grand Isle, so getting to the affected areas and helping is personal.
“Our friends, who are really like family to us, suffered a significant loss and we couldn’t just watch it on Facebook anymore. They lost their businesses and their homes. They don’t have electricity and they have nowhere to go, ”she said, adding that their friends don’t want to leave because they want to stay and protect what they have left.
Pugh and Toney both agreed, the flow of donations to those in need has been encouraging.
“I think there is something to be said about the number of people who have approached us to help us. I was blown away. It’s really refreshing in the world we live in today to see the good manifesting itself in people, ”she said.
“Vicksburg is a community with a big heart,” Pugh said.
If people want to keep donating, Pugh will take a second trip to the storm-ravaged areas and Toney has said she will make sure the donations she receives reach those in need. Donations can be deposited at Toney’s 61 N Liquor and Wine, 700 Highway 61 N., at Pugh Headquarters, Patriot Motorsports, 1029 Highway 61 North or Fire Station 8 by Home Depot.
Items that are desperately needed include gasoline, gas cans, butane, tarps, toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, feminine products, etc.), baby food, diapers, infant formula, wipes, non-perishable foods, heavy trash bags, dog and cat food, flashlights, batteries and paper products, including toilet paper.