Trucker back in Texas with Minn. donations

MN Harvey donations make their way to Texas

PORT LAVACA, Texas - After more than 44 hours on the road, Phillip Parker is finally back in Texas.

The Waco, Texas truck driver recently drove to Minnesota to collect donated supplies for Hurricane Harvey victims.

On Saturday, strangers gathered in Buffalo, Minnesota, to fill his truck with everything from water to baby formula to diapers.

"We had 36,000 pounds of donations," Parker said.

Now, he's back in the Lone Star State delivering those donations.

RELATED: Minnesotans lend a helping hand to Texas

"We were originally going to Port Aransas, Texas and en route we got diverted to Port Lavaca, Texas, as they ran out of power," he said.

Coordinators of the emergency relief effort sent Parker to the central distribution center at the First Baptist Church in Port Lavaca.

"As we were there, car loads of people were coming up and they were approaching the director and getting handed boxes and items and told to pick your items of the day," he said.

Parker said the devastation is still widespread.

"It's still there," he said. "You can still feel it. When you get down there, when you're coming into town, you can just feel the quietness of it. It's indescribable to see the quietness of the area."

From flooding to wind damage, signs of Harvey are everywhere.

"Buildings turned over … the awnings at gas stations, signs, the lettering off the church," Parker said, "it really gets to you."

A former Marine, Parker admits the journey has been emotional.

"You get choked up," he said. "It's really rough on them."

At the end of every storm, though, there are rays of light.

"It's communities getting back together," he said. " Communities helping communities."

Parker said more than anything, the people of Texas need first-aid supplies, breathing masks and mosquito repellant. He said volunteers on the ground are needed as well. 

© 2017 KARE-TV


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