Eye witness to hurricane help in Poarch
Published 10:43 pm Thursday, September 23, 2004
In the midst of all the heartache and devastation the site of four tractor-trailers pulling onto the Poarch Creek Indian Reservation was something to behold. Lights flashed with sheriff's deputies leading the way as the trailers came rolling down behind the ballpark. With the trees down seemingly everywhere and no power in sight, Deputy William Rolin was kind enough to take Advance on the grand tour.
Starting at the Command Center, Susan O'Donovan worked to keep the situation under control amidst a barrage of cell phones ringing, Southern Linc's beeping and several radios in the background all needing to be answered. Calmly with the attitude of a professional she answered every one of the calls with ease.
The Bureau of Indian Affairs was responsible for the command center RV and several agents on the premise. There was a very palatable sense of organization that someone had spent several hours putting the plan together. Cars were lined up in an ordinarily fashion waiting patiently for the opportunity to pick up three bags of ice, one case of water and one case of MRE's (Meals Ready to Eat) per family. These were given out to everyone until the supply was gone. Sadly, we watched as the four trailers pulled off heading back home.
While we were there we noticed a young man dressed in camouflage fatigues with the National Guard quietly patrolling the area with a rifle strapped to his back. He said his name was Gregg Burbank out of Columbus, GA. As I walked around among all the National Guardsmen and Indian agents I realized that these people were here to help us and attempted to take the place of our local National Guardsmen enlisted with Company A, serving in Iraq.
A couple of people that are in need of mentioning is April Sells, Robbie McGhee, Tyler McGhee, Wade Smith, Stan Stewart, William Rolin and Susan O'Donovan to mention only a few. It was obvious that the efficiency of this operation was in part due to their involvement. A huge thanks needs to go to these people and the many others that are working quietly behind the scenes assisting where they can.
Blair Nassar is the circulation director of the Atmore Advance.