Mississippi relief efforts

With Hurricane Michael quickly approaching the Florida panhandle, South Mississippi knows all too well about the trauma that comes with it. That’s why first responders on the Coast, along with others, decided to help out.

A hundred Mississippi Power crew members are headed to Florida to help with relief efforts. Brian Erkhart with Mississippi Power said, “Depending on how severe the storm is where we are going to be, it can be anything from closing fuses to picking up wire to changing out poles.”

The state of Florida called up a swift water rescue team from the state of Mississippi to stage in Mobile in advance of the arrival of Hurricane Michael. Forty-two responders from Mississippi will be of assistance. Gulfport Fire Chief Mike Beyerstedt said, “We have a team going that’s made up of people from Gulfport, Biloxi, Ocean Springs, Pascagoula, McComb, and Hattiesburg are all heading over there.”

While Mississippi Power will take care of the outages and electrical work, the rescue team will focus on helping those in the flood waters of Hurricane Michael. Chief Beyerstedt said, “Those resources are all specialized for operating in flood waters and swift waters that will be accompanying those floods. They will be pulling people out of places where they are stuck.”

Both crews plan to stay for as long as their help is needed and look forward to doing what they can to relieve people during the storm. “You meet people from these other cities. They tell you how much they appreciate the assistance they got from you. It’s a neat feeling to be able to pay those things back to some of the people that were here to help us out.”

“We know what it is like to need help.  So, to be able to return that favor and go help someone else in need, we enjoy it.”

Biloxi Fire Chief Joe Boney tells News 25 the Biloxi Fire Department also plans to send first responders to help with relief efforts.

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