East Texans head to Florida to help Hurricane Michael victims

East Texans head to Florida to help Hurricane Michael victims

EAST TEXAS (KLTV) - East Texans are mobilizing to help victims of Hurricane Michael in Florida, and some are already heading there. And that includes Ryan Nichols, who let several dogs out of a cage in waters rising from flooding during Hurricane Florence last month.

There seems to be plenty of East Texans willing to drop everything and help. The Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services Division is sending several units from Texas for aid, including one in Tyler, according to Captain Robert Parker.

“When there’s no power and things are closed down, you know you see a huge need for supplies, cleanup supplies, food water, emotional, and spiritual care,” Parker said.

They also will evaluate the situation for long-term aid.

And AEP SWEPCO is sending several crews from Longview, Shreveport, and Natchitoches. They will stage out of state and respond to areas in need of power restoration.

Longview’s Ryan Nichols and his dad are heading east to do whatever they can to help. We spoke with them via Facetime on East Texas Now. They have been in touch with other rescue groups.

“We’re just going in to stage right now. Kind of wait until the storm dissipates a little bit, or if it doesn’t dissipate, until it moves out of the area, so we can start moving in and doing what we need to do to help,” Nichols explained.

He borrowed the same boat he used in Hurricane Florence since he hasn’t been able to buy one yet.

“We’re just glad we have the ability to go back over there and help again because I know it’s still going to affect people in North Carolina and South Carolina that were affected last time,” Nichols said.

Fire Marshal Kevin Mays said the Longview Fire Department has deployed Captain Tommy Daniels to help with Texas Task Force One.

“They kind of stage, and then when they’re needed, they’ll work under the incident command system, and then they’ll be deployed to an area where they are needed,” May stated.

And how long will they be there?

“We plan on being out here basically until the job is done, and so if it’s two days, three days, four days ... I venture to say if we have to be down here five or six days we will,” Nichols said.

All of those mobilizing say they will stay until the job is done, and there are several more people on standby that will go if called to help.

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