| MILLINGTON, Tenn. (May 2, 2010) An aerial photograph showing flooding at Naval Support Activity Mid-South in Millington, Tenn. Two days of rain dumped more than 14 inches in the area, causing a levee to become overrun, flooding the base and surrounding community. The base is closed to all but mission-essential employees until further notice. Naval Support Activity Mid-South hosts several commands, including Navy Personnel Command and Commander, Navy Recruiting Command. (U.S. Navy photo by Mark Wilson/Released) |
While flood victims across the state begin damage assessments, residents in Weakley County are making plans for relief efforts as small groups join together to do what can be done hundreds of miles away.
Gene and Shelley Courtney of Dresden described the damage sustained in Millington near the Shady Oaks mobile home park as “unbelievable.”
The people of Millington, as well as the naval air base, were under water by Sunday, May 2 when a levee ruptured after Mother Nature dumped nearly 16 inches of rain on the area the night before.
“If you use something when you get ready in the morning, chances are, they need it. These people lost everything. From pots to pans to coffee cups to toothbrushes, they have nothing,” Mrs. Courtney explained.
With the help of Santa’s Helpers in Dresden, the couple carried 16 bags of clothing to the damage-stricken town outside of Memphis last weekend. They plan on making a second trip this weekend.
“Gene said if he gets enough items donated to have to rent a U-Haul, he’ll do it,” Mrs. Courtney added. The Weakley County Press office will serve as a collection site throughout this week for donations of clothing, shoes, toiletries, household items, all new or used. Items will be accepted until 4 p.m. on Friday for delivery Saturday morning by the Courtneys.
Another relief effort is underway on the University of Tennessee at Martin campus. Through Thursday, a donation table will be available in the Boling University Center in coordination with the office of student organizations from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. each day.
Students will collect non-perishable foods, bottled water, toilet paper, cleaning products, toothbrushes, shampoo, household items, furniture, baby items, gently used clothing and any other donation items.
The items will be delivered to Graceworks Ministries in Franklin, an affiliate with the American Red Cross, for people in Nashville.
Tennessee National Guard units have been busy providing immediate relief to victims in Davidson and Shelby counties. Thus far, more than 300 soldiers and airmen have distributed thousands of gallons of drinking water to flood-ravaged areas across the state. Activated units include Humboldt’s 30th Combat Support Sustainment Battalion, Smyrna’s 1176th Transportation Company, Tullahoma’s 1175th Transportation Company, Athens’ 117th Military Police Company, 269th Military Police and Johnson City’ 730th Quartermaster Company.