LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - East Texans are joining people across the country responding to help storm victims in Alabama.
One of the latest local groups to provide help is the Texas District United Pentecostal Church Men's Ministries. Volunteers spent Friday morning at the UPC campground, south of Lufkin, loading a big rig truck full of items, including sport drinks, chips, 10,000 bottles of water, 600 buckets of toiletries and baby items, lumber, generators, and tarps.
Local businesses made the donations to help the relief effort. Volunteers on the assembly line have been working since Tuesday to get the truck loaded by noon today.
From Lufkin the items will be taken to Bessmer, Alabama where some 100 families are displaced and the community is still reeling from the fatal storms. The donations should arrive there by 10 o'clock tonight.
Elsewhere, Igloo is sending hundreds of coolers from their plant in Katy, Texas. One-Thousand coolers have been loaded onto a big rig, bound for the Tuscaloosa area. The coolers will be delivered to the United Way and are expected to arrive by noon tomorrow.
The Tide Loads of Hope truck and Duracell Power Relief trailer have joined the relief effort. The Loads of Hope truck contains 14 washers and 18 dryers that are available for storm victims. Volunteers at the truck will wash, dry and even fold clothes for free. The Duracell Power Relief trailer offers a place for victims to charge their electronic devices and access WI-FI Internet.
Alabama's insurance commissioner says damage from the state's deadly tornadoes could approach the state's record of $2 billion from Hurricane Ivan in 2004. He says early insurance industry estimates put the damage across the South at anywhere from $2 billion to $5 billion.