Carson water on its way to New Orleans |

Carson water on its way to New Orleans

by F.T. Norton
Appeal Staff Writer

BRAD HORN/Nevada Appeal Irwin Union Bank vice president Bill Fergus, center, carries two cases of water to the Federal Express truck while Janette Jones helps Gregg Berggren, operations manager, and Dave Waldrip, a courier, load the donated water Thursday. Berggren said that Federal Express has delivered more than 200 tons of supplies including one DC-10 airliner filled with cots that were sent to the Houston Astrodome.

Debbie Nolan of Carson City couldn’t bear to witness the suffering endured by victims of Hurricane Katrina in the immediate aftermath of the nation’s worst natural disaster.

“How could you not be compelled to do something. I was up watching the news all night. It was devastating,” she said.

The thing that struck her the most was the people in New Orleans didn’t even have the basic necessity of water.

Nolan went to her co-workers at Irwin Union Bank and Home Equity and suggested a water drive. Over the course of Tuesday and Wednesday they did just that, hanging a neon sign outside their College Parkway building asking for donations and bringing in cases themselves.

Tuesday was a trickle of bottles, Wednesday was a torrent, Nolan said.

On Thursday, Federal Express picked up 150 cases of bottled water from the bank destined for New Orleans.

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In all, FedEx has shipped 200 tons of supplies to the storm-battered Gulf Coast, free of charge, said Gregg Berggren, operations manager for the Carson City station. Though the stations in New Orleans aren’t open right now, Berggren said the water can get to a suburban office and drivers there will deliver it to New Orleans.

“We did this because it’s just part of our corporate responsibility,” he said.

People from all walks of life are reaching out to the survivors of Katrina. In Northern Nevada grassroots fund-raising efforts have been springing up like wildfire.

While most donations are going to help human victims, Pet Network in Incline Village has gone one step further.

“Pet Network, in keeping with its mission to save the lives of homeless animals, is sending financial assistance to two organizations directly involved in the rescue and care of animals displaced during this tragic natural disaster,” said Steven Ricker, executive director.

The Houston Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is caring for hundreds of animals hurt or left homeless by the hurricane. Pet Network has donated $1,000 to that branch.

Another $1,000 donation will go to the Humane Society of the United States for their continued on-site rescue efforts of animal victims in Louisiana and Mississippi, Ricker said.

“In my 23 years of working in the animal field, this is undoubtedly the greatest natural disaster impacting companion animals, wildlife, zoo and aquarium residents in our country. These two agencies are doing remarkable work on behalf of the animals and should be supported,” he said.

– Contact reporter F.T. Norton at or 881-1213.