Local emergency responders ready to help, when called by Texas

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Local power companies and first responders are anxiously awaiting the green light to help residents in Texas dealing with the floods caused by the strongest storm to hit the United States in more than a decade. What was a category 4 hurricane when it made land fall over the weekend is now Tropical Storm Harvey and continues to dump rain across the Gulf Coast.
Last weekend, the Corpus Christi Caller-Times reported emergency personnel in some counties in south Texas finally had the opportunity to safely collect damage assessment reports, which included high school roofs being partially caved in and a courthouse sustaining major damage.
However, because the conditions are still dangerous, emergency responders in south Texas are unable to travel far to assist those in need and assess damage so they can request the proper assistance.
“At this point, the Texas co-ops have not requested help from Mississippi co-ops,” April Lollar, Coast Electric communications specialist, said. “Most of the damage is in investor owned utility areas and they call in their own responders.”
Without being officially called upon, it is a waiting game to determine what storm victims in south Texas need. Sending emergency personnel out west now could make things more difficult for local departments responding to emergencies here in Pearl River County and create more problems for emergency responders in Texas, Pearl River County Emergency Management Director Danny Manley said.
“South Texas is still in rescue mode, so any additional people we send to help could just crowd the situation and make things more difficult,” Manley said.
Picayune Fire Chief Keith Brown said personnel in his department are prepared to send assistance if called upon. In the meantime, many local departments, power companies and potentially other agencies in Pearl River County are proactively planning to collect donations and supplies. No specific details have been made about those donations yet.

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