Firefighter returns from hurricane relief efforts - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Firefighter returns from hurricane relief efforts

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October 10, 2005

Albany -- An Albany firefighter, who just returned from Waveland, Mississippi, says the frustration level of the victims there is very high.

 Captain Matthew Jefferson spent nine days in Waveland, deploying with FEMA's firefighter organizations. He said Waveland looks like a bomb has just blown the whole area away.

Jefferson took dozens of pictures at the town.  A mile from the ocean, Jefferson says there are boats and airplanes that were washed there by the tidal surge. Most of the buildings and homes were destroyed.

 Jefferson said many of the town's residents are living in tents, eating at Red Cross shelters, and frustrated that the relief efforts are very disorganized. Captain Jefferson said "When you are living in tents. This thing has been going on for over a month. You living in muddy, swampy waters. Having to contend with snakes, mosquitoes, gators. Just imagine."

Captain Jefferson and other firefighters from South Georgia helped set up a 911 and emergency operations center in Waveland.

Jefferson said he fears it could take years for the people in MIssissippi to rebuild from this level of devastation.

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