September 6, 2017 Edition

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Dive team assists with
relief efforts in Texas

Gretchen Hunt

Just months after extreme flooding in Lawrence and Randolph counties forced residents out of their homes, the Lawrence County Dive Team loaded up their gear and headed to Texas to help with rescue and relief efforts in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.

"Our team left on Aug. 31 and traveled with 11 members, a high water truck and four boats to Jasper, Texas, where we met up with the Clay County Task Force," Buddy Williams with the Lawrence County team said.

The two teams then traveled to Hardin County.

"In Hardin County, we moved a convoy of 10 trucks loaded with supplies to a staging area for the local shelters," Williams said.

The dive team members then assisted the Lumberton Fire Department with rescue efforts.

"We did boat operations for the Lumberton Fire Department in flooded neighborhoods until late into the night on Friday before moving out of the area on Saturday," Williams said.

He said a debt of gratitude is owed to those who donated supplies from Lawrence County, as well as to Sheriff Jeff Yates and Judge John Thomison, who allowed dive team members to use county-owned equipment and volunteer their time to help those in need.

"We left Black Rock with about 15,000 pounds of donated supplies for the area and moved hundreds of cases of food while in the area," Williams said.

Supply drive

A team of local volunteers, #Communitystrong, is continuing its supply drive. Items including cleaning supplies, non-perishable food items, hygiene supplies and paper products can be dropped off at First United Methodist Church in Walnut Ridge.

Donations will be accepted from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, Monday through Saturday, through Sept. 21.

"There will be a team of us leaving on the 23rd to distribute and lend a helping hand in Port Aransas and Rockport," Peggy Maryman said.

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