Tyler native, David Hanson, made a trip to flood-damaged Baton Rouge, Louisiana, to help a friend, and was so gripped by the devastation that he worked through the night helping everyone he could.
Hanson, who owns the Monroe, Louisiana-based Weed Pro, used his air boat and mud boat, which he uses in his job killing lake weeds, and put it to use rescuing dozens of people and their pets.
“We were given a list of residents who had called 9-1-1, and we were knocking on their doors,” Hanson said. “We saved a lot of elderly people.”
“The electricity was out and the water was ranging from a foot deep in places to 6 or 7 feet deep in the single story houses,” he added. “There were police vehicles underwater, and we watched multiple vehicles go under trying to drive my boat around to help.”
Now that the flooding has receded, Hanson said he feels compelled to keep helping, and he and his friend, Michael Bass, have organized a collection drive for supplies.
Turner-Bass Insurance and Realty, 135 Shelley Drive in Tyler, is a drop-off location for anyone wanting to donate supplies. The list of needed items includes but is not limited to: storage containers with lids, paper towels, toilet paper, drum liners, hand sanitizer, mosquito spray, mops, brooms, bleach, cleaning gloves, baby wipes, pet food, face masks, crow bars and nonperishable food items.
The deadline to contribute is 5 p.m. Friday. Hanson's plan is to pick up everything and have it delivered to Baton Rouge over the weekend.
“Humanity steadily steps back and this is a chance to step forward, especially in this town that ironically has tension and animosity toward the local police. Hopefully this flood will wash out the hate and bring the town, state and people together," Hanson said.
For updates on needed supplies and more information about the collection, visit the Rally Texas For Baton Rouge Facebook page.
HOW TO HELP
East Texans can donate items to be delivered to flood relief efforts in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Turner-Bass Insurance and Realty, 135 Shelley Drive in Tyler, will collect supplies through 5 p.m. Friday.
Needed items include but are not limited to:
• Storage containers with lids
• Paper towels
• Toilet paper
• Drum liners
• Hand sanitizer
• Mosquito spray
• Cleaning gloves
• Baby wipes
• Pet food
• Face masks
• Crow bars
• Nonperishable food items