Gulf coast cities pitch in to help flood victims

Gulf coast cities pitch in to help flood victims
"After Katrina, volunteers and donations that we're speaking about right now were the blessings we received that kept us going," Long Beach Mayor Billy Skellie said.

HARRISON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - South Mississippi cities are sending donations and first responders to Baton Rouge to help with flood relief. Many coast residents are saying, "It could have easily been us." That's why they're volunteering to help in any way they can.

Fireman Andy Purchar with the Pass Christian Fire Department says he helped pack supplies with his department, preparing a crew of five to head to Baton Rouge.

"They brought water rescue equipment, cases of water, MREs and tents, because they weren't really knowing where they were going to, they were just going," Purchar said.

He said the crew is now doing triage in Walker, Louisiana. That's in Livingston Parish.

Fire Chief Dwight Gordon said his department got so much unofficial help in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, they know their help is needed.

"It was actually through contacts of just friends that we were in touch with the chief over there. He said he still needed help and my guys decided to get their crew up," Gordon said.

The Pass Christian firefighters are helping people and animals who have been displaced by floods. More than 20,000 people have had to be rescued so far, and the water could still be rising.

The chief said the crew drove over in an F-250, 4-wheel drive truck, and set up in a parking lot.

Meanwhile, Long Beach Mayor Billy Skellie is asking the public to drop off donations like bottled water and cleaning supplies to fire stations on Klondyke Road, Johnson Road, or East 2nd Street, and the police station on Alexander Road.

"After Katrina, volunteers and donations that we're speaking about right now were the blessings we received that kept us going," Mayor Skellie said.

And Purchar said the Pass Christian Fire Department is bracing for a possible long stint helping out.

"They should be coming back and possibly we'll be sending another crew, we don't know at this time," Purchar said.

The American Red Cross is helping with relief efforts for the thousands forced from their homes in Louisiana. There's even a Red Cross shelter in Natchez taking in people from our neighboring state.

Check here for a full list of ways you can help Louisiana's flood victims: http://bit.ly/2bAE4ei

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