Convoy of Care already helping those affected by Baton Rouge floods

BATON ROUGE — Volunteers are passing out donations from Channel 2 Action News viewers to flooding victims in Louisiana.

The Convoy of Care arrived in Baton Rouge last night, and volunteers immediately began unloading boxes.

Channel 2 investigative reporter Mark Winne drove with the convoy to Baton Rouge and is getting a first-hand look at the help your donations are providing.%

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Winne was there as people by the dozens lined up to unload the three tractor-trailers full of donations from Channel 2 Action News viewers to help those in need following devastating floods in the area.

“I’m overwhelmed by the outpouring of support that this community is receiving,” Baton Rouge City Councilman Lamont Cole told Winne. “The media is not reporting how bad the situation is for East Baton Rouge parish and the surrounding areas.”

“The need has not ended because we got here. It continues into the next weeks and weeks,” said Dunwoody Police Chief Billy Grogan.

One of the locations where the supplies were distributed was at a church in midtown Baton Rouge.

“At least half, if not 70 percent of our congregation was affected by the storm in some way,” William Bates told Winne. “We want (to) thank the people of your area for donating all the resources that we have now, so people can have some semblance of hope that they can get back to rebuilding their lives and their homes.”

The Convoy of Care was personal for many Georgia officers who made the trip to Louisiana.

“On the way down here in the convoy, you told your sister, ‘I’m on the way,’” Winne asked Officer Joseph Dwyer, with the Douglasville Police Department.

“Yes, sir. And she balled, crying,” Dwyer said. “My sister’s house in Sorrento was flooded last week. They got approximately five feet of water inside their house.”

So when he was asked to help with the convoy, Dwyer said her couldn’t pass up the opportunity.

“I actually started crying when they asked me if I could go. It’s a pretty good thing that my department did for me, to allow me to do this,” he said.

Then, there is the personal side for the officers in Baton Rouge.

“Sunday morning, I was working dog-shift with the police department, trying to help victims of the flood. Went home and my house was totally destroyed. I did what I could for a few hours and went to sleep and back (to) work to help people that

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had more problems than I did,” said Officer Donald Steele, with the Baton Rouge Police Department.

Steele said he got emotional when he learned about the convoy.

“Inside, it was like I got on my radio and said, ‘Hey, I need help,’ and they heard it all the way from the state of Georgia,” Steele said.  “And they came here with bells and whistles lights and sirens, ready to assist me in any way I needed to.”