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Dawson organizations send volunteers, supplies to aid hurricane victims in Texas
Mountain Lake Church collecting flood buckets until Sept. 17
Flood Bucket


Dawson County businesses, churches, schools, nonprofits and volunteers rallied this week in the aftermath of one of the country’s most devastating natural disasters in years.

Jumping into action after hurricane winds and rain pummeled Houston, Texas, organizations in Dawson County worked to provide victims relief from the storm, which made landfall late on Aug. 25.

Donations have since been pouring in and relief organizations are attempting to get the word out about what is most helpful for the victims of the devastating floods.

Dawson County Emergency Services Director Lanier Swafford in an email last week wrote that as host of the Georgia K9 Task Force, his office received an active standby for deployment to Texas from the Georgia Emergency Management Agency.

Assistant Chief Danny Speaks as well as DCES K9 volunteer members Carson Chin and Dave Adkins were readied for deployment, but as of Wednesday night, officials in Texas have said “they have filled all of their request for aid that they have a need for right now.”

Should the need arise for more teams, GEMA will notify DCES, Swafford wrote.

Also rising to the occasion, Amicalola Propane out of Dawsonville sent three trucks down to Texas on Aug. 24 to help keep cell towers running.

Tim Timmers with Amicalola Propane said that when electricity is out, cell towers run off propane-powered generators. Cell tower companies pay propane companies to keep the towers running so that emergency services can communicate.

The Federal Emergency Management Association called the emergency rescue company, which communicated with Amicalola Propane about where the need was located, Timmers said.

Timmers said that three  trucks with three drivers: Amicalola Propane owner Matthew Richardson, driver Casey Rickett and driver Rob Alexander, made their way back through Mississippi and New Orleans Thursday after a week of helping keep cell towers online.

Volunteers with nonprofit organizations such as churches and the Red Cross have also sent and will be sending volunteers. Financial donations are most useful if volunteering is not an option, but some local groups are working to gather basic supplies like water and “flood buckets.”

Brian Haas, a pastor at Mountain Lake Church, said that the group is working through Samaritan’s Purse to help provide what Houston residents need.

Haas said flood buckets — 5-gallon Lowe’s or Home Depot buckets that contain cleaning supplies — have been welcomed by flood victims in the past.

“We headed up a team that went to Louisiana last year when the Baton Rouge [floods] happened and brought flood relief buckets,” said Haas, whose church meets each Sunday at the Dawson Regal Cinemas. “Every resident and homeowner we handed the [buckets] to was appreciative. Of course, we’ll take all sorts of donations, but those are what people really can use.”

“In the upcoming weeks, we’ll probably take several trips to [Texas] to see where we’re needed, but Houston is probably the main focus point,” Haas said. “It’s looking like the week of Sept. 18.”

Flood buckets can be dropped off at MLC's Forsyth campus at 3105 Dahlonega Hwy., Cumming, anytime Sunday through Thursday and at MLC's Dawson campus at Regal Dawson Cinemas on Sundays before 1 p.m. All donations must be in before Sept. 17.

Gold Creek Foods, another Dawsonville business, worked this week to collect flood buckets as well, accepting donations for four hours Tuesday afternoon at City Hall.



Flood buckets consist of:

  • 5 gallon bucket with resealable lid (clean)
  • 5 scouring pads (not steel wool)
  • 7 sponges
  • 1 scrub brush
  • 18 reusable cleaning towels/wipes
  • liquid laundry detergent (1.5 oz of 2.25 oz bottle)
  • 1 bottle household cleaner
  • 1 16 oz bottle dish soap
  • clothes line (two 50 ft or one 100 ft)
  • 5 dust masks (disposable, sealed in a bag)
  • 2 pairs reusable waterproof gloves (Playtex type)
  • 1 pair work gloves (leather palm necessary)
  • 24-bag roll of heavy duty trash bags, 33-45 gallons (please remove from box_
  • 1 insect repellent spray (not killer)
  • 1 can air freshener (aerosol or pump)
  • 50 clothespins

Please make sure all items are assembled at time of drop off.

Place all items in bucket. Sizes are important- all items must fit in the bucket.

Brian Haas, a pastor at Mountain Lake Church, said that the group is working through Samaritan’s Purse to help provide what Houston residents need.

Haas said flood buckets — 5-gallon Lowe’s or Home Depot buckets that contain cleaning supplies — have been welcomed by flood victims in the past.

“We headed up a team that went to Louisiana last year when the Baton Rouge [floods] happened and brought flood relief buckets,” said Haas, whose church meets each Sunday at the Dawson Regal Cinemas. “Every resident and homeowner we handed the [buckets] to was appreciative. Of course, we’ll take all sorts of donations, but those are what people really can use.”

“In the upcoming weeks, we’ll probably take several trips to [Texas] to see where we’re needed, but Houston is probably the main focus point,” Haas said. “It’s looking like the week of Sept. 18.”

Flood buckets can be dropped off at MLC's Forsyth campus at 3105 Dahlonega Hwy., Cumming, anytime Sunday through Thursday and at MLC's Dawson campus at Regal Dawson Cinemas on Sundays before 1 p.m. All donations must be in before Sept. 17.

Gold Creek Foods, another Dawsonville business, worked this week to collect flood buckets as well, accepting donations for four hours Tuesday afternoon at City Hall.