The City of Santa Monica is loaning a city in Alabama equipment to help in cleaning up after Hurricane Katrina.
Eighteen trucks and other equipment authorized by the Santa Monica City Council to be loaned to Bayou La Batre, Alabama left the Santa Monica City Yard Friday, October 21st.
In late September, Santa Monica was asked by the U.S. Council of Mayors to “adopt” Bayou La Batre, which has a population of 2,500. Bayou La Batre’s greatest need was pickup trucks, but its city officials told Santa Monica staff that other vehicles and equipment were also needed.
Every Bayou La Batre city vehicle was either submerged or floating in saltwater by the end of the storm.
Known as the seafood capital of Alabama and the location for Bubba Gump Shrimp Company scenes in the movie Forrest Gump, Bayou La Batre has since lost all of its seafood processing buildings and fishing boats.
One thousand of the 1,500 homes in the city were destroyed and many residents are living in campers or tents outside their destroyed homes.
Even though they are shorthanded and working round-the-clock, Bayou La Batre city officials that Santa Monica staff have talked to are in good spirits and focused on rebuilding their community, the Santa Monica staff said.
At the Santa Monica City Council meeting Tuesday, October 11th, approval was given to loan Bayou La Batre 18 vehicles, including six pickups, two trucks with large cranes, utility vehicles with smaller cranes, a dump truck, street sweepers, a riding lawnmower and six chainsaws.
On Friday, October 21st, five transporters left Santa Monica in the morning and arrived in Bayou La Batre a week later.