By Jerry Bell, Emergency Manager
(Editor’s Note–This is the fifth part in a series of stories in recognition of Hurricane Heroes of 2020. Continuations will be printed in an ongoing fashion over the next few weeks.)
The category that has the most heroes in it is our citizens. They really came through for DeQuincy. I am talking about hundreds of people that donated their time and assets to help us recovery. There are so many to name every one that it would be impossible because I don’t know all of them. I do know that many of them worked out of our churches and I am so appreciative of the long, hot, and sweaty hours that were put in to help our city recover.
When I briefed FEMA officials about what all our citizens did especially in setting up all the points of distribution (PODS), they were amazed to say the least. I saw dozens of our citizens daily performing tasks that so helped our recovery. I saw the Ashworth brothers, Paul and Pat, using their big machinery to help clear our roads, the same way they did it after Hurricane Rita. I saw the Wylie brothers, Lannie and Scott working for days to help clear land, pass out ice, and help their fellow citizens. Along with them were some of their Masonic brothers who also helped.
To all our Christian brothers from all the churches, you really made a difference and there is no way to repay you except with our heartfelt thanks. You did a great job and your children should be proud of your when you tell them about the great storm that DeQuincy had to endure and the role that you played in helping your fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. Our Mayor really knows just what you did for our city. I heard him brag on our churches to many a dignitary.
Another category of persons that helped DeQuincy in a great way was our State Inmates. I know it must seem weird that I, as, a police officer, would brag on our inmates but they did a great job and they did not have to. They could have stayed in their bunks but all of them volunteered to help. They passed out thousands of bottles of water, thousands of pounds of ice, and they cleaned up out streets to get the nails out of our roads. However the one inmate that helped the most was our cook, Tim Perkins. He worked daylight to dark and cooked for hundreds of people. Everyone that came through the DQPD door received a meal if they wanted one and Mr. Perkins cooked that meal. He especially took care of all the first responders with a hot breakfast and a hot supper.
Those that I mentioned in this article only scratches the surface of naming all that helped so don’t take offense if you were not mentioned. Many people saw what you did and they will know it.
(To be continued)