Mini-airlift Jersey-bound with material
Hampshire sheriff spurs storm donations
A map indicates Hurricane Sandy's position moving through the Bahamas off the east coast of Florida on Friday, Oct. 26, 2012, at the National Hurricane Center in Miami. Hurricane Sandy left 21 people dead as it moved through the Caribbean, following a path that could see it blend with a winter storm and reach the U.S. East Coast as a super-storm next week. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky) Purchase photo reprints »
NORTHAMPTON — On Saturday morning, a small fleet of planes laden with emergency supplies will depart Northampton Airport bound for hurricane-ravaged New Jersey.
The planes will carry 200 blankets, 1,000 12-hour glow sticks and $1,000 worth of tarps. The relief effort is being organized by Dave Fenton, crime prevention officer with the Hampshire County sheriff’s office, and the department.
The effort to offer aid came together quickly, Fenton said in a phone interview Friday evening, as he drove to Home Depot to pick up $300 worth of tarps. R.K. Miles and Wal-Mart in Northampton donated $250 and $450 worth of tarps respectively.
The idea came after seeing the damage done to the Garden State by superstorm Sandy, he said. But getting supplies to New Jersey figured to be problematic because of damage to the state’s roads, he said.
Fenton said he went to Northampton Airport to see if anyone there would be willing to help.
“They rallied their flight community. Four or five pilots donated their planes and expertise to fly down there,” Fenton said. “It’s amazing what people will do when other people need help.”
The local sheriff’s department is coordinating with its counterparts in Monmouth County, N.J., where the supplies will be delivered, Fenton said.
Officials there said they were in need of tarps to cover shelters that are missing walls or to patch buildings, Fenton said. The planes will leave Northampton at 10 a.m., he said. “It’s just been a great cooperative effort,” Fenton said.