For residents of the Santa Maria RV Park, Tuesday was spent trying to make sense of Mother Nature. Todd Berkesch, a storm victim, says, “All of a sudden, it was just a gust of something and it flipped it clean over on me. Next thing I knew, I was stuck upside down.” Berkesch was inside his trailer at the Santa Maria RV Park in Gautier when strong winds ripped through the area. He is going through his belongings and figuring out his next steps.
Berkesch also says, “I work right down the road. I need a place to stay, so that's what I'mma do.” Dozens of RVs were overturned when the storm hit Monday night. Luckily, no one was injured. Tuesday, residents are sifting through their belongings and getting a little bit of help from some nonprofit organizations. Major Gary Sturdivant, the Area Commander for the Salvation Army, says, “We're going to go out and get them some clothing. We also got them some nourishment: donuts, crackers, that sort of thing.”
Jerry White, a volunteer with the American Red Cross, says, “If there happens to be anyone that we discover that needs our help in terms of housing and so forth, then we'll take care of that as well.” The Salvation Army and the American Red Cross are providing everything from coffee to clothing for the people affected Monday night. Sturdivant also says, “Once we see this, we're the first responders. At a moment's notice, we're here. We'll be here until they don't need us.” Many residents have family in the area, and for those who need it, the Salvation Army is putting people in temporary housing. People are gathering whatever they can carry, and trying to reconstruct their lives.
Berkesch closes, “Trying to get in touch with the insurance companies and get back in shape here.” Most of those in the park are waiting for their insurance agents to make an assessment before anything is moved.