Jackson County Officials Want Camp Vancleave To Stay Open - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

10/27/05

Jackson County Officials Want Camp Vancleave To Stay Open

A group of Arizona firefighters are just a few of the hundreds of relief workers stationed at Camp Vancleave. Thursday, they were tuning up their fire engine.

Jackson County Civil Defense Director Butch Loper says Friday they could be revving up to leave if FEMA follows through with its plans to close the camp down.

"They need a roof over their head and a bed to sleep in so they can continue their volunteer efforts," Lop

"Shutting the housing down, they can't afford to house themselves. So we're fixing to lose probably half of the relief workers coming in," Camp worker Sterling David

Which would mean there would be fewer volunteers working to clean up Jackson County.

"That's going to cut the amount of work that gets done down in a short amount of time," Loper says. "We finally get something going right and then, boom, they want to pull the carpet right out from u

While Camp Vancleave is providing a home for the hundreds of relief workers in Jackson County, it's also providing jobs for many South Mississippians who've lost theirs since Hurricane Katrina. Sterling Davidson is one of them.

"Run cleanup crew, maintain grounds, upkeep and everything," Davidson says. "This has provided a job for us here locally. It's helped out a lot on the fin

Davidson says it too will be taken away if the camp closes on Saturday.

"We need to support all of these type issues that we can so we can get ourselves back to some kind of normal," Loper says. "For the life of me, I can't understand why they are unwilling to support that camp. Keep it op

Come Saturday, we'll know if FEMA is listening.

By Jaimee Goad

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