Bay County relief efforts for Hurricane Ida survivors

Local News

BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB) – Hurricane Ida has left parts of Louisiana devastated and over a million people without power.

This has brought back vivid memories for locals who lived through Hurricane Michael.

The Panama City Fire Department is sending firefighters to Louisiana to help with cleanup.

Lieutenant Rusty Pitts said his men and women want to help however they can. They survived Hurricane Michael three years ago and understand the devastation and need for assistance.

“This turned into our department getting in contact with the beach department and some of those guys, Pitts said. “Some of the wives work for the local hospitals, this turned into large donations from the hospitals from people really wanting to help out. So now it has basically turned into a large event.”

The department’s original plan has evolved into a supply drive as well, with one of the firefighters renting a 26-foot U-Haul truck to take supplies to Louisiana.

“Not only are we going over there to do work, but also we are going to have a guy doing nothing but supplying people, nothing but handing out supplies, Pitts continued. “So it is going to be a win-win for us and we are going to be able to help in both ways obviously by monetary and by labor. Just being there for people.”

Teachers at Mowat Middle School also want to help and are organizing a relief effort for Ida survivors.

“I think that as a community we know what it’s like to be in need and right after Hurricane Michael, we would have struggled so much more if it hadn’t been for the efforts of the surrounding states and the surrounding communities,” said Mowat Middle School teacher Courtney Buchanan.

Donations can be brought to the front office of Mowat Middle School or to Panama City Fire Station #1 station on Business 98.

“Anything that you can think of that we needed after Hurricane Michael, bring it and we’ll bring it to them,” said Mowat Middle School teacher Byron Barlow.

The relief efforts of both Mowat Middle School and the Panama City Fire Department plan to deliver their donations to Louisiana this weekend.

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