GOVERNOR BUSH IN LAKE WALES AFTER CHARLEY-Andrew Stelzer

08/17/04

While much of the media has focused on coastal beachfront areas, which have been effected by Hurricane charley, central Florida has seen some of the greatest damage. The governor came to lake Wales, Florida today to see for himself one of the inland areas, which will be reeling for years from the brunt of charley. WMNFs Andrew Stelzer has this report

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The fire department and city services buildings have been turned into a comfort center on central Avenue in Lake Wales, an estimated thousand people every day have been coming to get food and water, and starting tomorrow, showers. The power is not expected to be back

Debbie is a teacher from Lakeland who came to Lake Wales to volunteer this week.

ACT ‘It was worse yesterday…elderly man, there were so many of the older people….almost all of them have no electricity and no water.’

Although older people seem to be having the hardest time without lifes amenities, its young people who are trying to make sense out of the situation.

ACT ‘To me its bad, people have babies that haven’t been bored….its not enough…’

Captain Dale Bannon is the Polk county commander for emergency disaster relief for the Salvation Army.

ACT “The critical issues are water ice and food…some of our greatest needs I would say are individual bottled water or gallon water..in addition we are making 10,000 sandwiches.�

Governor Bush arrived at the comfort station around 2pm, he spoke with volunteers and people who’s lives have been turned upside down he said that one of the biggest problems Florida faces in recovering from hurricane charley will be rebuilding the state s economy

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Meanwhile, a couple miles outside of downtown, along Florida route 60 east, Mary Holiday is looking over the remains of her booth a the flea market. The market had about a third of its roof torn off, and Marys selling area, where she sold antiques and collectibles was destroyed.

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Frank Barnhill was luckier, his booth’s roof remained intact.

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Governor Bush said that a FEMA assistance center will be opened on Friday in lake Wales, at the eagle ridge mall. People can fill out applications for financial assistance in finding a new temporary or permanent home.

Volunteers and donations are needed in lake Wales. For information, call the Salvation Army at 800-SAL ARMY

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