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Wilson residents helping Sandy’s victims
Nov 08, 2012 4:00 pm
Wilson County residents and organizations are joining the national effort to help victims of last week’s Hurricane Sandy.
Nearly a week after Sandy slammed into the New Jersey coastline, killing more than 100 people in 10 states, almost 1 million homes and businesses were still without power in New Jersey. About 650,000 homes and businesses in New York City, its northern suburbs and Long Island also remained without power.
Sandy inflicted up to $50 billion in estimated losses from property damage, lost business and additional living costs, with much of the damage concentrated near the coastlines of New Jersey and New York City.
Relief efforts have poured into storm-hit areas from throughout the country, and some Wilson County residents have joined in the efforts.
“I took a truck up to Union Beach, New Jersey,” said John Kincaid, of Lebanon. “You could see some of the damage, but the worst damage was away from where I was at…A lot of the damage happened right around the beaches.”
Kincaid, a court officer with the Wilson County Sheriff’s Department, owned a tractor-trailer and drove part-time before joining the sheriff’s department. Although he no longer drives professionally, he still holds a commercial driver’s license. When he learned that there was a truck ready to leave with supplies but no driver, he stepped up.
Kincaid left Friday at 2 p.m., returned to Lebanon Sunday night and was back at work Monday. The drive took 14 hours each way.
Church members in Union Beach met the truck and unloaded the boxes of food and cleaning supplies and cases of water.
“They were getting rid of the food and water as soon as they could get it off the truck,” said Kincaid.
The Tennessee Baptist Convention, based in Mt. Juliet, deployed its mobile kitchen to Lakehurst, N.J., on Saturday, but officials sent the vehicle away, according to David Acres, state director for the Tennessee Baptist Disaster Relief Ministry.
“You want to be there, and you want to be set up and ready to help in any way you can,” said Acres. “They just couldn’t secure a place up there for [the mobile kitchen].”
Water and sewer connections are needed to operate the mobile kitchen unit. Other mobile kitchen units from throughout the country were already set up in Lakehurst.
“They ran out of space and ran out of need,” said Acres.
Kincaid plans to return to New Jersey later this week with another truck of supplies.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Staff writer Sara McManamy-Johnson can be reached at 615-444-3952, ext. 16 or firstname.lastname@example.org.