Storms damage 132 homes in Walker County
by James Phillips
Mar 23, 2013 | 3480 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Twin Lakes Mobile Home Park was one of the hardest hit areas of Walker County when thunderstorms caused damage to 132 homes across the county. Daily Mountain Eagle - James Phillips
Twin Lakes Mobile Home Park was one of the hardest hit areas of Walker County when thunderstorms caused damage to 132 homes across the county. Daily Mountain Eagle - James Phillips
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Volunteers with the American Red Cross have finished their assessment of the damage from Monday’s storm in Walker County, finding 132 homes affected.

Pam Fikes, executive director of the Walker-Marion chapter of the Red Cross said the group feels it has found at least 98 percent of the residences affected.

“We have had volunteers out all week to assess the damage,” Fikes said. “We had some pretty hard hit areas all across the county.”

According to the findings of the assessment, 17 homes were destroyed, 42 suffered major damage and 73 suffered minor damage.

“With the assessment finished, our volunteers will now begin casework to determine unmet needs and offer assistance,” Fikes said.

Helping with that assistance will be the Salvation Army of Walker County.

“We will be helping those who are referred by the Red Cross,” said Lona Courington, executive director of the Walker County branch of the Salvation Army.

Courington said donations are desperately needed to help area residents.

“We will be providing grocery items, household items and furniture to those that are sent to us,” she said.

The Salvation Army will not have gift cards or cash to hand out, Courington said.

“This is a local disaster, so there will be no money coming in from larger divisions,” she said. “All of our support will have to come from the local community.”

Courington said donations can be made at the Salvation Army store in downtown Jasper from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Larger items can be picked up by calling 205-221-7737.

Kathy Bonikowski, a resident of the Argo community, is also organizing a donation effort for people in the Twin Lakes Mobile Home Park who were affected by the storms.

Collection boxes are set up at Woodland Trace Church of Christ and Guthrie’s Chicken in Jasper. She said immediate needs include children’s clothing, towels, bedding and toiletry items. Bonikowski said monetary donations may also be made through Woodland Trace.

“I had to get involved after I saw how bad it was hit,” Bonikowski said. “My cousin lives there, and he’s in a much better position than some of the residents. I am just trying to get the word out that we are wanting to help.”

For more information on Bonikowski’s efforts, she can be reached at 205-777-1032.