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Richard Scott is at it again…

When Ike slammed into the Texas Gulf Coast, FEMA called BWB’s Richard Scott to ask if he could help. While helping clean up after Katrina, Richard had secured a heavy equipment donation and after nine months of hard work, BWB gifted over $1,000,000 of free demolition and debris removal to the citizens of Mississippi. FEMA wanted to know if Richard was available again.

Richard arrived in Texas on Monday with a member of Disaster Corps.  Richard arrived with an offer from  Four Seasons Equipment Company out of Houston to donate a front loader and excavator to help with the formidable clean up ahead.  After exploring a number of areas including Bridge City, they settled on Sabine Pass as their target for a relief project.   On September 24, 2005, Hurricane Rita came ashore over Sabine Lake — the surge from the storm destroyed more than 90% of the structures in Sabine Pass. On September 13, 2008, Hurricane Ike struck Galveston, but managed to generate the highest surge ever recorded at Sabine Pass. Most of the few homes that had survived Rita were destroyed. The new fire station and school gymnasium, built by “extreme home makeover” after Rita, were both totaled. With a population of 2,200- nearly everyone in the town was affected by Rita, Ike or both.

The Four Seasons Equipment Company, out of Houston, donated a Hyundai excavator and loader for free demolition and debris removal. The same afternoon, they tore down the first house.
Henry and Bertha Seymour are natives of Sabine Pass and their home survived Rita. This was the center for their extended family, some of which were still in travel trailers when Ike hit. Unfortunately, their
home was destroyed by Ike. The Seymours had been foster parents for years and re-certified to begin fostering children again a few months before the hurricane. They are living in a 30 foot trailer with their two adopted children and were hoping to get back on their property as soon as possible, so that they can expand a little and take in some kids by Christmas. In the short afternoon and following morning that we worked at the Seymours, Bertha introduced us to other neighbors in need, all of which characterized her as something akin to an angel. We felt pretty good about helping them out.

The Salvation Army is serving lunch and supper every day out of a mobile truck and there is a distribution center set up to furnish folks with water, ice and essentials. There are also  FEMA and SBA mobile offices set up for residents to make claims and apply for trailers. The prevailing thought is the response is better this time than it was after Rita. Unfortunately, the damage is worse.

Yesterday, there was a town clean up and it was estimated that 400 volunteers came from around the state to help families clean up their houses and properties. Along with the volunteers came numerous bar-b-q stands and gumbo for the community. We started the tear down on house number two (the La Boves- third generation locals) and also pushed a few debris piles around when families flagged us on the street. We are currently camped out on another post office slab, a pleasant irony, enjoying breezy evenings, a corona or two and some seriously large mosquitoes. Haven’t stepped on any alligators or water moccasins roaming town, yet, but we’ve seen a few. Tomorrow we will clean up around what is left of the local watering hole and begin on house number three.

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