In a heroic effort to assist Winn Parish first responders with needed personal supplies such as food, toiletries, and non-perishable food, Sheriff Zena Stephens of the Jefferson County Texas Sheriff’s Department authorized her department’s Aviation Unit to fly supplies to Winn Parish.
Sheriff Stephens also authorized use of her department’s Bell 407 civil utility helicopter. Captain Jerry Lowe flying with co-pilot Deputy Stanley Shipper flew Police Jury President Josh McAllister, Senator Jay Luneau and Winn Parish Sheriff Cranford Jordan around Winn Parish to survey the damage left in Hurricane Laura’s wake. The helicopter is equipped with a flir thermal imaging camera and was able to video some of the damage. In one video a line of damaged electricity transmitters can be seen.
The second helicopter, a military grade cargo transporter piloted by Captain Danny Walker and co-piloted by Deputy Mark Ellis carried the supplies collected by Tabitha Lowe the wife of pilot Jerry Lowe who is a dispatcher at City of Silsbee, TX Police Department. As soon as Tabitha was told that there were first responders in need of supplies she immediately went to work gathering monetary donations as well as donated goods to send to Winn Parish. “We’ve been in your shoes and we know exactly what you’re going through, we will keep sending supplies as long as we need to,” stated Tabitha. Along for the ride to make sure everything went smoothly was Jefferson County Sheriff Aviation Unit Crew Chief Kevin Kahla.
City of Winnfield Police Department, City of Winnfield Fire Department, City of Winnfield Utility Department and Winn Parish Fire District 3 all received part of the donated supplies.