Area makes efforts to aid ravaged region

September 18, 2005|BY ANDREW SCHOTZ

Allegheny Energy helps with power repairs

On Aug. 25, when Hurricane Katrina hit southern Florida as a Category 1 storm, Allegheny Energy sent help.

Company spokesman Allen Staggers said 91 Allegheny employees left that day to assist Florida Power and Light. More than 1 million customers were without electricity, CNN reported at the time.

Workers from Allegheny's service center in Williamsport were part of the contingent, Staggers said.

The following week, another 44 Allegheny employees traveled to help Mississippi Power restore electricity to its customers. The second group included employees from Allegheny's service center in Waynesboro, Pa., Staggers said.

Most Allegheny employees were gone about two weeks, but some still are away, three weeks later, Staggers said.

Major to represent local Salvation Army

Maj. Butch Mallard of the Salvation Army in Hagerstown is scheduled to leave Monday for Jackson, Miss., to help with hurricane relief efforts.


Mallard has done this before, after three hurricanes and a tornado, he said.

Mallard said Salvation Army units on the Gulf Coast were hit hard, so other units are stepping in.

He will be in the South for two weeks, although he hadn't heard last week which city or cities.

Mallard's daughter, Beth Luangamath, and Salvation Army member Larry Miller are going with him.

Local groups aiding evacuees

Social services agencies are working with Hurricane Katrina evacuees who migrated this way.

An 88-year-old woman who lost everything she had in Biloxi, Miss., plans to get an apartment on her own in Hancock, where her son lives, said Deborah Cohill, executive director of the Interfaith Service Coalition.

Community groups are pitching in to care for the woman with items such as a mattress, a box spring, a toaster and a coffee maker. Cohill said the coalition is maintaining a list of what the woman needs.

As of early last week, the American Red Cross of Washington County had nine cases involving Katrina evacuees, mostly from Louisiana, said Cindy Blackstock, the chapter's director of emergency services.

Blackstock said she knows there are other evacuees in the county, but they haven't asked the chapter for help.

Church links to others in Miss., Ala.

St. Mark's Episcopal Church, in the Lappans area, has been channeling relief donations through an Episcopal Relief and Development fund.

But "people wanted a connection, I think," the Rev. Anne Weatherholt said.

So, the church is giving $500 to St. Andrew's Cathedral in Jackson, Miss., and $500 in Wal-Mart gift cards to the Church of the Epiphany in Gunthersville, Ala.

Weatherholt said she was an intern 30 years ago at St. Andrew's, which has sent relief workers to affected areas.

The second link is through St. Mark's congregation member Frances Schuler, who came to this area from Alabama. Weatherholt said families displaced by the hurricane have been living in trailers in an Alabama state park near the church.

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