Vernon High School principal helps his flooded community after Hurricane Sally

Published: Sep. 18, 2020 at 6:16 PM CDT
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VERNON, Fla. (WJHG) - “Our biggest priority has been, if there’s a need, get somebody there to help,” Brian Riviere, principal of Vernon High School, said.

In the small, tight-knit town of Vernon, neighbors are helping neighbors.

“Basically anything we can offer, whether it’s fill up sandbags, or get water and ice out to some of these families, and in a lot of cases it’s been trying to get families out of their homes, they just don’t have an option,” Riviere said.

Riviere has been working since Hurricane Sally to get resources to people who are trapped by the storm’s water.

“We’ve done everything from drive a vehicle probably where we shouldn’t, to towing boats behind the trucks, four-wheelers towing boats to trucks and using boats as a way to carry sandbags and resources back and fourth,” Riviere said.

The water continues to rise in Vernon, and Riviere said they will keep on helping residents.

“Grading roads and bringing dirt as fast as they can, but when, an example like this, you have water still washing across the road, that’s not going to help,” he said.

Riviere added that he hopes students can return to school soon.

“(We will) Excuse absences where a bus simply can’t get down a road or a family can’t get out, but we know we need to be open and have power on and give them their two meals and just make sure they know we’re here for them,” Riviere said.

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