From bakers to electricians, county answers call for help

Wednesday, September 7, 2005

HOLIDAY ISLAND -- Tim Black and Marilys Teteris of Picasso Cakes, in The Park at Holiday Island on Ark. Hwy. 23, are accepting donations of food, blankets, water and clothing for victims of Hurricane Katrina.

Donations will be accepted indefinitely, due to the severe impact of the storm through much of the states of Louisiana and Mississippi.

"We only thought of this about 30 minutes ago," he said Tuesday morning, and pledges of donations had already been obtained from various Holiday Island businesses.

Originally, Teteris and Black had planned to close Picasso Cakes Sunday through Tuesday to make the deliveries. However, on Tuesday afternoon they learned that Victory Family Church in Springdale is sending semi-trucks loaded with donations as they are filled, with plans to continue the operation for weeks or months, as needed.

So Black will take donations, as they are received at his Holiday Island store, to Victory Family Church.

Persons wanting to make donations may do so at the shop. For more information, persons may telephone Picasso Cake at (479) 253-2600. Victory Family Church is located at 3598 S. 48th Street, Springdale; telephone (479) 751-7926.

In Berryville, Amerigas employees Jim McIntosh and Ed Smith have agreed to go to the Gulf Coast area in coming weeks to assist in recovery efforts. One crew from Harrison is already in the impacted area.

Mike Brown of Entergy reported Wednesday that 12 employees in the company's Harrison area are going down, and that statewide, Entergy Arkansas is sending 360 safety, construction and supervisory workers as of Wednesday, with 240 to be staged in Jackson, Miss., and 120 in Baton Rouge, La.

"Tim (McKinney) will hold down the fort" locally, Brown said. "With a storm of this scope, which we've never had before, we're talking about waves of people," he said, with workers going in to replenish earlier workers so they can go home.

Carroll Electric Cooperative has sent some of its contractors, or journeymen, into the affected area, however, information from Rob Boaz indicates that at the present time there are plenty of workers waiting in staging areas to get in.

"It's heart-breaking what this causes, both to utilities and every homeowner and business," Boaz said.

At Arkansas Western Gas, Terry England reports the company was contacted by Entergy, the natural gas supplier in New Orleans, about mutual aid prior to the storm's landfall, but has not heard back. He said it will probably be several weeks before gas lines can be accessed due to flooding.

The Arkansas Baptist Association is accepting monetary donations. Checks can be made payable to ABSC Disaster Relief, Attn: Hurricane Katrina, 525 W. Capitol, Little Rock, AR 72201. Telephone number of the Arkansas Baptist Convention is (501) 376-4791.

The Southern Baptist Convention in Louisiana is asking for volunteers and accepting donations of cleaning items, such as bleach, rubber gloves, boots, brooms, sponges, squeegees, basic tools, vacuum cleaners, shop vacs, rock bars, saws, shovels, wheelbarrows, and six-foot ladders. Volunteers are asked to bring items to the Louisiana Baptist Building in Alexandria, telephone (318) 448-3402.

The American Red Cross is asking for monetary donations to assist hurricane victims, due in part to the magnitude of the damage, but also because money can be used to purchase immediate needs without requiring the manpower to unload trucks.

Attempts to reach Red Cross headquarters in Louisiana and Mississippi on Tuesday were unsuccessful, as all circuits were busy. It is reported that the American Red Cross Chapter in Alexandria, La., is accepting donated items, such as clothing. That phone number is (318) 442-6621.

The General Council of the Assemblies of God in Springfield, Mo., reports that its Louisiana District's campground is housing some 400 Assemblies of God people stranded from the hurricane. At least three AG churches in Louisiana and Alabama have been verified to be flooded, and reports indicate that other churches in those two states and Mississippi are under water.

On Wednesday, the General Council still had no word on other churches due to lack of communications.

Assemblies of God USA's Benevolences Disaster Relief is in the process of sending money to the affected districts and a Convoy of Hope to help meet the immediate needs of churches and other victims.

Disaster relief offerings can be made on-line on the Web at http://benevolences.ag.org/disasterrelief, or checks, designated for hurricane relief and noted with account number 874-030007, can be sent to Benevolences Disaster Relief, 1445 N. Boonville Ave., Springfield, MO 65802-1894. Use of the account number designates the contribution for Hurricane Katrina victims.

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