Residents accuse supervisor of stopping Red Cross aid - - Jackson, MS

Residents accuse supervisor of stopping Red Cross aid

WALTHALL COUNTY, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Some Walthall County residents had no electricity, water nor food in Isaac's aftermath. Now they are blaming one county official.

They say one powerful supervisor and businessman stopped disaster relief from coming so that he could profit.

Eaton Road residents in Tylertown said Hurricane Isaac left them without electricity and under a boil water notice for six days.

During that time, William Hammond told WLBT that supervisors prevented the American Red Cross from distributing supplies in their area.

"I heard one of the supervisor, Larry Montgomery in general, say that he didn't want Red Cross in the community. He didn't want food and water from the Red Cross because it'd hurt his business" said Hammond.

"Most of us live paycheck to paycheck. I have four kids so it's not as simple as running out to the store and picking up one gallon of water when you have no electricity, no water and it's 104 degrees outside," said Hammond's next door neighbor Jessica Holmes.

The Tylertown residents said they heard the comments while gathered at McDonalds and were told that they could purchase what they needed.

They said elderly shut in residents along Eaton Road finally got water and meals from the Red Cross Monday.

Walthall County Red Cross supervisor Mark Holmes said the agency was prevented from setting up staging areas to distribute supplies.

"We heard him out of his own mouth that's how he felt about the people by telling them to go buy water and ice and stuff and the Red Cross people were all right there," said Mark Holmes.

Hammond and others plan to share their grievances with the Walthall County Board of Supervisors at Wednesday's meeting.

Board president and District One Supervisor Larry Montgomery denied the accusations and said that he had spoken with Red Cross officials and asked them for their assistance.

We were unable to reach him after numerous attempts for an on camera interview.

"Our services are based on damage assessment conducted by Red Cross volunteers and also information from emergency management agencies in each county. As it relates to Walthall County, the Red Cross has provided meals, water, and snacks to the impacted communities following a Red Cross disaster assessment. On behalf of our Red Cross workers and all of our partners we are pleased to be serving our neighbors recovering from Hurricane Isaac. Our efforts to help people who need us continue," said Mississippi Region Red Cross CEO Sandra Hodge.

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