BY LEANN DILBECK & MELANIE WADE –
Polk County is once again rallying together to send much needed supplies to victims of a natural disaster. This time around, supplies are needed for our Texas neighbors following Hurricane Harvey, which has dumped historic amounts of rainfall on Houston, Baytown, Beaumont, and the hundreds of miles that stretch around and between some of south Texas’ largest populated areas. So far, near three dozen have been confirmed dead and thousands more have fled to shelters seeking refuge.
As Harvey came ashore on Friday, August 25, it had already been predicted to bring mass destruction. However, the flooding Harvey brought with him was more than anyone anticipated. After moving back into the Gulf of Mexico, Harvey turned and reared it’s ugly head once again to the Texas coast, bringing massive rainfall and destruction. The 50-plus inches recorded in parts of the area have been deemed as the largest amount of rain dumped anywhere in the Continental United States in recorded history.
Although the full effects of Harvey won’t be known for some time, there are already indicators of how wide-stretching Harvey’s destruction will reach. On Wednesday, a chemical plant near Houston had begun showing signs of black smoke and its owners expect explosions to begin any day due to floods affecting its refrigerant system. On Thursday morning, reports began to surface of oil refineries being unable to operate and a massive pipeline that supplies the east coast has been closed until further notice, causing some to fear rising fuel prices across the country.
During it all, neighbors have reached out to neighbors, forming human chains to save each other, bringing boats in to take strangers to safety, and using social media to find others who are trapped with no way out. With so many in need, and having been in similar situations before, Polk County citizens are again stepping up to help.
Sheriff Scott Sawyer has announced that his department will have a small trailer set up in the back parking lot of the courthouse on Thursday, August 31, 2017, accepting donations for the Hurricane Harvey victims. That load will leave for Baytown, Texas and be taken to the care of Texas State Representative Briscoe Cain.
A second trailer, 53-foot, has been donated and will be in the Mena Walmart parking lot on Monday, September 4, 2017. The trailer’s donor will deliver the supplies to Baytown, Texas when it is filled up.
Items they are seeking are:
Blow up mattresses
Baby and children’s clothes
XXL and XXXL Tshirts
Underwear of all sizes
Sweat pants or
Toiletries (full size)
Ready to eat meals
Trash bags(all sizes)
Zip lock bags ( all sizes)
Aluminum baking ware
Clothes, blankets, pillows, towels don’t need to be new just clean and in good condition.
Mena’s Northside Church of Christ is also accepting donations. Those relief supplies will be sent to the Sunset Church of Christ in Nashville, Arkansas who will deliver them to the Texas coast. They will be taking donations of bottled water, diapers, personal hygiene products, paper products, trash bags, new or gently used towels but have requested that no clothing is donated at this time to their efforts.