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McGinnis sends relief supplies south

SOUTH POINT - Those involved in the Hurricane Katrina effort are getting some help from a Lawrence County business.

McGinnis, Inc., is sending two cranes from its South Point location, two barges from its Paducah, Ky., facility and two tractor trailer loads of supplies from St. Louis. The goods and machinery are being sent to New Orleans.

Doug McGinnis, chairman of McGinnis, Inc., said the barges will be used to help house those left homeless. McGinnis, Inc., purchased the special housing barges several years ago from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Each barge can accommodate up to 300 people.

"They have their own cafeteria, restrooms, things like that. They were built by the government so they are state-of-the-art," McGinnis said.

"They are designed so that if we go out on a construction job, we can house the men on the job at the site."

The cranes will be used to salvage sunken boats and barges. The outfit is also sending generators and other equipment.

McGinnis has a personal connection to New Orleans: He owns a business there: National Maintenance and Repair of Louisiana, a shipyard that employs approximately 100 people.

The business man said he has heard from seven employees since the hurricane and is trying to contact the others to see what can be done to help them.

McGinnis said he is not sure how long the equipment will be used in New Orleans.

"It could be six months or it could be a year, depending on the situation," he said.