Relief trucks sit idle - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Relief trucks sit idle

September 14, 2005

Thomasville- Nearly a hundred truck engines are running outside Yellow Jacket Stadium in Thomasville, but these trucks aren't going anywhere, yet.

"They haven't told us nothing. No one can answer the question, that's the million dollar question," said Thomas Covington of Laurinburg, North Carolina.

Drivers from Oklahoma, Arkansas, and North Carolina were told to pick up loads of water and ice and meet at this staging area, but they've had little instruction since.

"Matter of fact they rerouted us because, we've got so many supplies down there now, they really don't have any place to put them," said Eric McGhee of Birmingham, Alabama.

McGhee has already taken several loads to Katrina victims.

"Monday, I dropped a load of in Mississippi, some more water, then I came up here. Got here Tuesday, Tuesday evening and we're just waiting on a load of water now," said McGhee.

"We're in a holding pattern, kind of and we have water and the other trucks have ice and we're waiting on FEMA to give us the word on where to deliver the water where it's necessary," said Mark Herlacher of Oklahoma.

But when that word will come and which way these supplies are headed is anybody's guess?

"No one know what's going on at first. It's kind of a little bit unorganized at first," said Covington.

"With all the criticism the administration has been taking over the FEMA fiasco, they're wanting to make sure they're covering all their bases," said Herlacher.

Until then owners of local restaurants like the Savannah Moon Bakery Cafe have been providing a meal.

"It's a major thoroughfare here for trucks, but not this kind of thing with this many people staying here. And on them, we just wanted them to know somebody cares about them here," said Ben Golden, Savannah Moon Bakery Cafe Owner.

Drivers say they're anxious to get rolling, because they know more supplies are needed.

"You can be doing more than what you're doing to help people instead of just sitting and waiting," said Covington.

Truck drivers say, since they're staged in Thomasville they can be anywhere on the gulf or up the east coast where Ophelia may cause damage within a day's time. FEMA also has one of their few ice storage facilities in the Thomasville. They'll be off-loaded there if they're not needed right now.

feedback: news@walb.com