Agencies, volunteers reach residents one by one

Published 5:00 am Friday, September 9, 2005

Emergency officials say water, ice and food distribution isimproving each day as relief teams try to reach others in need.

Since shortly after last Monday’s storm, distribution sites havebeen operating around the county. Those continued today at theRuth, Loyd Star and East Lincoln volunteer fire departments, BogueChitto Attendance Center, Fair River Baptist Church and the SportsComplex, civil defense officials said.

On Monday of this week, workers started trying to reachindividual homes of residents who have been unable to get out toone of the distribution points, Lincoln County Sheriff WileyCalcote said. As of Thursday, Calcote said, the crews were seeingpeople who had been without power for more than a week and neededassistance.

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“They’re glad to see us coming their way,” Calcote said.

The sheriff encouraged anyone needing assistance with ice, wateror meals to call his department at (601) 833-5231.

“If they call us, we’ll be happy to bring it to them,” Calcotesaid.

Calcote said deputies, inmates, jailers, supervisors, volunteerfirefighters, military personnel, and law enforcement officers fromother areas have been helping in the relief effort.

“We really appreciate them coming in and helping us out,”Calcote said.

Calcote said relief crews are concentrating on some areas stillwithout power. He mentioned Mallalieu, Ruth and Lake Lincoln. Thesheriff said crews are taking on two or three areas a day.

“We don’t have a set schedule where we’re going to be, but we’llget the whole county,” Calcote said. “We don’t intend to overlookanybody, but it takes time to reach each individual home.”

Members of the Air National Guard’s 172nd Airlift from Jacksonhelped at the Bogue Chitto distribution point Thursday.

“It’s been a good thing we’re doing for the folks,” said Sgt.Greg Dickens. “We’ve seen a lot of people come through withoutwater or power.”

Dickens expected the unit to be in place for a few moredays.

“Once everybody gets power back on, there won’t be a need forus,” Dickens said. “Then we’ll move to another location.”

Dickens commended residents’ willingness to assist theirneighbors.

“I was very impressed with how people have pulled together tohelp each other out,” he said.

Calcote encouraged members of Neighborhood Watch programs tocheck on the elderly and shut-in residents in their communities andhelp when needed. He said cooperation between the various emergencyand relief agencies is helping the situation improve.

“We’re all out working this together,” Calcote said. “That’sreally pleasing to me to see what’s being done in LincolnCounty.”