Harvey arrives here

Published 5:00 am Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Support sent to victims

Rain fell and temperatures dropped in Escambia County Tuesday as the nation watched the Texas devastation wrought by Hurricane Harvey.

Hurricane Harvey made landfall Friday as a Category 4 storm, slamming Texas with brutal winds and severe flooding, leaving Houston underwater and millions of residents in need of aid. The now-tropical storm continues to dump unprecedented amounts of rainfall and is credited with – at last report – 10 deaths.

Local residents are not strangers to the aftermath of devastating storms and know firsthand about the long, slow recovery process.

Brewton Mayor Yank Lovelace Monday said, “Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Texas. We’re a small town, but we’ll do whatever we can to help.”

Like Lovelace’s, statements of support are being offered from those across to Alabama.

The area “Single Parents Are a Gift” (SPRAG) group is organizing a supply drive on Sept. 9, said chairwoman Carolyn Bradley. The group offers parental support for those in Escambia, Conecuh and Monroe counties.

Volunteers will be accepting personal hygiene items and cleaning supplies from 7 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. at the Brewton Public Library’s community house.

“These families desperately need items to help with the cleaning of flooded homes like Lysol and Clorox,” Bradley said. “We will not be accepting clothing.”

For more information, call 251.363.1170, 251.230.0485 or 251.593.8056, she said.

Those wishing to help now are urged to donate to the American Red Cross. Volunteers are also in high demand. State RC officials said seven emergency response-feeding vehicles left Alabama on Monday stocked with food and water.

“The Red Cross is in need of more volunteers who can commit to spending two weeks out of state,” officials said. “They will quickly have you trained and on your way to help Harvey victims in a matter of days. Even if you can’t commit to volunteering, the Red Cross is always in need of donations to be able to continue its relief efforts.” To donate, visit redcross.org.

At present, local Southern Pine electrical crews haven’t been activated; however, they remain ready to deploy when called, local officials said.

Heavy rains to continue through weekend

For the next week, Escambia County will be under a hazardous weather outlook as Tropical Storm Harvey continues its path.

The National Hurricane Center models aren’t predicting any tropical force winds locally; however, 70 percent chance of rain daily through Thursday and a 50 percent chance of rain through the weekend is forecasted. Temperatures will hover in the high 80s during the day but drop to the low 70s nightly.

As of Tuesday afternoon, Harvey continued to slowly make its way across Texas and into Louisiana, dumping an unprecedented amount of rain in the areas around Houston.