he smell of death was prevalent … Every two to three minutes another ambulance went down the street … Every five minutes another helicopter landed carrying the wounded or the dead,” Parkville businessman Tom Hutsler tearfully recollected upon his return from the Hurricane Katrina ravaged Gulf Coast region of Mississippi.
Hurricane Katrina left much of southern Mississippi in ruins, but the weight of Katrina’s “crooked-i might” landed squarely on the jaw of Gulfport, Mississippi and nearby locales.
Hutsler joined D.J. Adamson, who spearheaded the Parkville-based relief mission, in their trip to Gulfport. After a week of collecting donations, Adamson and Hutsler, who were joined by others, made the journey last weekend with a 53 foot trailer in tow holding 28 pallets of supplies, including nonperishable foods, water, toiletries, personal hygiene items, etc.
But, those supplies did not last long. Cases of water evaporated in a matter of single-digit minutes. Food vanished soon thereafter. Health care workers, who were existing on little to no sleep, pled for additional supplies for their own families.
The group plans to depart from Parkville with two more trailers of supplies this Friday evening (September 9). Donations will continue to be accepted by volunteers at the Park Plaza Shopping Center across the street from Hen House in Parkville.
Parkville Police Department Sergeant Jon Jordan also joined the group to assist in the effort and provide some semblance of security. His son, Jeramy, also attended with James Grisham of GT Tow.
While their initiative is commendable, all of the organizers and volunteers were quick to insist that their efforts would be for naught if not for the overwhelming generosity of the residents of Parkville and neighboring Platte County citizens.
When D.J. Adamson announced his plans to mount a relief effort, a local competitor, James Grisham of GT Tow (Smithville), enthusiastically announced his desire to participate. Adamson and his father, John Adamson, own Northland Tow.
The fuel costs, which were approximately $1,400 were divided evenly by Northland Tow and GT Tow. GT Tow also donated the tractor, which pulled a trailer that was provided by Jim Hawk Trailer.
John Adamson said that he never expected it to evolve into this when his son initiated the response.
“We really need to emphasize the need for nonperishable food and water,” Hutsler said.
He added that clothing is too cumbersome of a task at this stage and that they need to focus on getting them the bare necessities of life. “We’ll get them clothes later,” John Adamson quickly interjected.