By Jerry Bell, Emergency Manager
(Editor’s Note–This is the sixth and final part in a series of stories in recognition of Hurricane Heroes of 2020. Continuations.)
There is another category of people that we want to thank that falls in the out of town group. The first one that I want to mention is our good friend Perry Vincent from Louisiana Radio. When our equipment went down, he sent men to fix it and kept our computers and communication going. Perry is a friend to DeQuincy.
Our next great friend is Jimmy who works for CLECO. We call him Jimmy CLECO. He helped in so many ways.
I want to specially mention a young lady named Jennifer Landry. She works at OEP in Lake Charles. I have never met her. However she helped DeQuincy so much after the storm. I had to go through her to get help from the state, that was the way it was set up. If I wanted generators, ice trucks, fuel trucks, National Guard, or anything else, Jennifer was our life line and she came through. I am going to ask the Mayor if he would recognize her in a certificate.
Sheriff Tony Mancuso was on the phone every day with Chief Whitehead offering the complete support of his whole office. This was a comfort knowing that the Sheriff could send a hundred men if we needed them.
The last category of heroes to DeQuincy comes from out of state. They are way too numerous to name. Many cities and police departments from Texas sent supplies and food to our city. I have a list of all of them in my hurricane journal that I filled out daily for future references. The fuel men that drove our fuel from out of state really helped us. We provided them a place to sleep because I wanted them to keep the fuel trucks in our city. I kidded them by saying we have Batman and Superman but the real hero is Fuelman. Having plenty of fuel for the generators and emergency vehicles is so vital. We took care of the Fuelman. In return they took care of DeQuincy.
I also want to thank Tansey Rothenberg, my FEMA counterpart right after the hurricane. She was on the ground fast and stayed in DeQuincy daily to help us navigate through the FEMA guidelines. She has a genuine desire to help us recover along with her other FEMA personnel.
This article only covers some of our hometown heroes. Many more helped and they and other people saw them helping. Unfortunately hometown heroes are not known outside their hometown so there will probably not be any statues built or books written about them but none the less, they are heroes and they made a big difference in many people’s life helping them recover.
As old folks still talk about where they were during Hurricane Audrey so will our people in the future talk about where they were during Hurricane Laura and then Delta. Hope that they will remember our hometown heroes and the ones of us that did all we could to help our little city of DeQuincy.
Many of our citizens have been bathed in the fire of the hurricanes and have come out stronger and will be able to handle the next disaster even more professionally. With God’s help and our citizen’s help we made it through the valley and now we are getting back on top of the mountain.
God bless our city and all its citizens.