More Area Help for Areas Hit by Hurricane Charley

Eight members of the Bay County Sheriff’s Department and their supplies are on the way to help hurricane victims in central and south Florida.

The deputies left late Thursday for the hard hit Punta Gorda area in Charlotte County. They’ll be there for at least 10 days, helping relieve the overworked Charlotte County deputies.

Each of the local deputies is carrying his own supplies to help make it through what promises to be some grueling days.

Meanwhile, another team of volunteers has left Panama City to help in central Florida. Twenty-five Panama City and Bay County workers left early Thursday where they will assist the Frostproof area with collecting and disposing of accumulated storm debris.

Also helping out is a team of Panama City police officers who are in Polk County in the central part of the state where they are helping police in that area cope with some of the aftermath of Charley.

Earlier this week about 15 officers from the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Department headed to the Punta Gorda area to help with security.

Several Dozen Gulf Power employees from Northwest Florida, along with an equal number of Dept. of Transportation workers from around here have also volunteered to be in the devastated zones to help out.

Six volunteers from the Central Panhandle Chapter of the American Red Cross and about 150 local Florida National Guard troops were some of the first to be on the scene of Charley’s damage last weekend to help residents of that area.

All the locals remember when Hurricane Opal hit northwest Florida nine years and the help poured in her from the rest of the state. Now, it’s time to repay the favor.