FEMA trucks begin their trip - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

FEMA trucks begin their trip

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By Jennifer Emert - bio | email

September 9, 2008

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Ninety trucks stocked with supplies for Hurricane Ike victims are making their way west from the Marine Corps Logistics Base.

The trucks began rolling out around 9:00 Tuesday morning on the  two day trek to move all of the trailers to two new staging areas in Mississippi and Alabama.  

One by One, Estes Express Lines drivers begin the next leg of their journey with what they consider some pretty precious cargo.

"People that need water that don't have water, yeah, it would be very precious," said Estes Truck Driver Chris Griffin.

Trucks stocked with MRE's and liters of water are rolled out in small groups of several trucks to avoid a traffic jam, headed one step closer to where Hurricane Ike could make landfall.

"We're going to two places this morning, we're going to Meridian Mississippi, we're also going to Maxwell Air Force Base. We have two staging areas just like this set up at those two locations," said FEMA Staging Area Group Supervisor Max Gaskin.

Where drivers will wait again for an update on Ike. FEMA doesn't want the supplies in harms way, but they'll get them close enough to where the storm may hit.

"We space them about, we want to be about 250 miles from where the supplies are needed that gives us about a four hour turn around we can get there quickly and turn back around and bring another load just as quick," said Gaskin.

They want the trucks close enough, 24 hours before the storm because of the potential for severe weather.

"You have to be prepared, you have to keep your eyes open and take your time," said Estes Griffin.

Representative call is being FEMA Flexible and if the storm path changes so too will the path of these trucks.

If Hurricane Ike by some chance missed the United States, the supplies would be returned to warehouses in several states until they're needed again.

Most of the supplies have a shelf life of four years.

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