Wiregrass Flood Relief Telethon

by - January 07, 2016

City of Elba - Christmas 2015
On Christmas Day 2015, the Wiregrass was inundated with rainfall. The three major rivers in our viewing area - the Pea, Choctawhatchee and Chattahoochee - all topped their banks. More than 100 homes were flooded, most belonging to families -- and this was just in our corner of the state.

All across the state of Alabama, as well as Georgia and northwest Florida, rivers reached and passed flood level. I've lived in this area my entire life and have never seen anything like it (I was too young to remember when the Flint River flooded in the early 1990s).

City of Elba - photo courtesy of WTVY's Mike Gurspan
We were lucky to only have two deaths in our area, but the system that triggered our flooding is responsible for dozens more in other parts of the country.

One of the most difficult things to cover in this business is destruction, but often while covering these tragedies we find the rare opportunity to do what I believe to be the most rewarding part of this business -- help.

Today (Thursday, January 7), WTVY is teaming up with the East Alabama Chapter of the American Red Cross to host a telethon to help Wiregrass flood victims. We'll be taking calls for donations from 12:00 until 6:30 p.m. CST. All of the money we raise will go directly to local flood victims, many of who did not have flood insurance.

Hwy 52 crossing the Chattahoochee River.
Tomorrow, I'll take you behind-the-scenes of my first telethon, as well as update you on how much we were able to raise. The generosity of the people in our viewing area is astounding. Time and time again they've stepped up to the plate to help those in need, and I know they will not disappoint this time.

If you would like to participate in our telethon, call (334) 714-7472 between 12:00 and 6:30 p.m. CST. If you miss our telethon but would still like to help, you can do so through the American Red Cross or by visiting www.elbaflood.com.

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