PENSACOLA, Fla. (WKRG) — Damage from Hurricane Sally is still causing headaches along the Gulf Coast.
With individual assistance from FEMA still under review, many people have decided they can’t wait on help from the government and have taken recovery efforts into their own hands.
Stephanie Watts lives on Mississippi Circle in the Mayfair community of Pensacola.
Piles of debris line the West Pensacola roadways. Several homes still have trees lying on houses.
Watts said she saw the devastation in her community and decided she needed to do something to help her neighbors.
“I started reaching out to people out of state, asking for volunteers to bring us food, bring us water — bring us things that we needed,” Watts said.
Before long, donations started coming in. Watts amassed a supply of water, food, shampoo, and more. So far, Watts and other volunteers have given out supplies to at least 100 people.
“We’ve helped people from all over, even as far reaching as Foley because it’s not just this community,” she said. “We’re willing to help anyone who needs it.”
Corey White has been helping Watts with her relief efforts. He’s originally from Pensacola but lives in Atlanta. White said when he saw the devastation Hurricane Sally left behind, he left the next day to come to help.
“When the hurricane hit, it hit home for me because a lot of my friends were displaced,” White said. “As much as I could do to help them and help the community out, that’s where I felt I needed to actually be at.”
White brought clothes and water from Atlanta to help those in need. He said seeing the damage and people struggling has been humbling.
“I cried two times when I got here just because of how many people out here need water and need help,” he said.
Watts, who experienced significant damage to her home during the storm, said she is happy to help her community during a tough time.
“People who were once strangers have now become family. I have been truly blessed over these past two weeks,” she said. “I know a lot of people got it a lot worse than I did. I just feel blessed to be able to help in some small way.”
If you’d like to help Watts with her relief efforts, she has set up an Amazon wish list where people can donate.
- Tropical Storm Zeta forecast to intensify into hurricane as it enters Gulf
- Police searching for missing Indiana children who may be in Montgomery area
- Patchy fog, partly cloudy afternoon
- Faith Time: the pandemic’s impact on casual churchgoers
- ALEA issues alert for missing children last seen in Alabama