PHOTO: National Guardsmen at the Orange County Airport load donated water into trucks Friday for shipment to relief distribution centers set up in response to historic flooding from Tropical Storm Harvey. (Photo by Dave Rogers)
Dave Rogers / For The Record
An Orange County leader reacted angrily Friday to social media reports that Hurricane Harvey relief supplies are being hoarded or misappropriated.
“Man, it’s just been crazy,” County Commissioner Johnny Trahan said in front of a near-empty airplane hangar at the Orange County Airport.
The hangar doubled as a warehouse full of water, snacks and baby supplies until military transports stopped coming in Thursday morning. As fast as teams of Army National Guard reservists could take the disaster supplies off planes, others trucked them to one of 16 neighborhood distribution sites serving the public.
“We got about two million tons of supplies coming into the airport,” Trahan said. “We pushed about 1.8 million tons out.
“All we have an abundance of here is water because the pods have requested us to quit sending water.”
Most residents have electricity and safe drinking water now. Trahan says the big need is for cleaning supplies, including bleach and peroxide to kill quick-growing mold.
A major weeklong military airlift effort that include huge Chinook helicopters and a C-130 cargo plane may have ended but private planes continued steadily landing at the airport Thursday and Friday with private donations.
Some of the planes’ cargo is earmarked for local religious organizations or businesses to distribute. Some of the deliveries are open-ended, left to be sent where most needed.
The goods were getting delivered, not hoarded.
“Facebook is good to distribute a lot of information,” Trahan said. “Unfortunately, people can distribute a lot of bad information, too.’