From Baltimore to Gretna, La.

Katrina's Wake

September 04, 2005|By Bradley Olson

Nearly 40 vehicles and 110 emergency responders from Baltimore are scheduled to leave the city this morning for Gretna, La., to assist relief efforts in the Gulf Coast.

"We have all been moved by the images of complete devastation of New Orleans and the entire Gulf Coast by Hurricane Katrina," said Mayor Martin O'Malley in a statement.

"Over the last few days, it has been made clear to me from local and state officials in Louisiana, and other states, that there remains a critical need for first-responders to aid in the relief and rescue efforts," he said.

O'Malley said late yesterday that a handful of area officials had already arrived in Gretna to coordinate the deployment of Baltimore's resources.

The city will make 1,000 beds available for refugees, and urged anyone willing to house a displaced family to call 410-396-1977.

Reggie Scriber, the deputy commissioner of housing for Baltimore, said the city had yet to determine where they would house the displaced, but he said additional planning would take place Tuesday to prepare a safe environment where people could bathe and eat.

Scriber said the facility would be temporary, since he and O'Malley were committed to finding permanent housing for those who would need it.

An airlift with 2,000 gallons of water will leave Baltimore-Washington International Airport this afternoon, but O'Malley urged residents to continue donating water and nonperishable food items for an airlift that will leave tomorrow. To donate, leave items at any Baltimore City Fire Department firehouse.

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