Irma evacuees arriving at Cullman Co. rest stop, volunteers there to help


Updated 9-10-17 12:56 a.m.

CULLMAN COUNTY – Hurricane Irma evacuees have been arriving at Cullman County's Gov. Guy Hunt Rest Stop on I-65 just north of the Dodge City exit. While The Tribune received several reports Saturday that some slept at the rest stop last night,  volunteers are on the scene Saturday night, and area churches and other organizations and families have opened their doors.

Rhonda Hagemore, with the Dodge City Volunteer Fire Department, is coordinating efforts.

"I have about 10 volunteers here helping me," said Hagemore, who said several evacuee families were arriving.

Two volunteers there this evening are Jason and Wendy Studdard from Jasper. Said Wendy Studdard, "We actually (saw) it on Facebook today, so we rode up today to see what y'all needed. We're going to come back tomorrow."

Asked why the couple chose to come help, Jason Studdard replied, "Because it could be us that needed the help and I'd like to think if the time ever comes that we needed it, that they'd be there for us. If you don't, you'll regret it. I mean that's as simple as it gets. When it's coming to help other people, if you don't help, what's going to happen when you're in trouble? And there's nobody there to help you?"

According to Cullman County Sheriff Matt Gentry, Rep. Corey Harbison, R-Good Hope said Good Hope City Hall will be opened if needed.

Hagemore says she is keeping a list of people who have opened up their lake houses, as well as churches that are taking people in. "We are keeping a running count on who we send where."

Mt. Joy Baptist, Daystar Church, Redemption Church are taking evacuees.

This is a developing story.

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