On August 27th, Hurricane Laura pounded the Louisiana and Texas coasts, making landfall near Cameron, Louisiana as a Category 4 storm with 150 m.p.h. winds. Hurricane Laura tied the Last Island Hurricane (1856) for the strongest land-falling hurricane in Louisiana on record. While Lake Charles and the surrounding areas are the epicenter of the impact, damage from the storm spans a large area of Louisiana and Southeast Texas. There doesn’t seem to be a building left untouched by Laura’s fierce winds and power outages continue in parts of Texas, Louisiana and Arkansas.
Our Disaster Assessment and Response Team (DART) has conducted on-the-ground assessments, and we have established a base of operations in Kirbyville, TX and DeQuincy, LA. Based on the need, we started assisting families with chainsaw work, and we aim to expand to debris removal, roof tarping, muck and gut and sanitation.
Our experience tells us this recovery will be measured not in days or weeks, but months and years. Every donation will count; a long-term commitment requires millions of dollars to assist people who otherwise would not receive support. In this difficult moment, we hope you will join us as we roll up our sleeves and get ready for the hard work ahead.
September 4, 2020 Update
Following our new deployment plan, which includes safety measures to allow us to work within COVID-19 restrictions, our team is focusing on:
- Providing immediate, priority assistance with chainsaw work in Newton and Jasper Counties, Texas with support from the Veterans Community Response, a chainsaw specialized group from Washington state;
- Setting up a supply line (with necessities such as food, water and fuel) and a Forward Operating Base in DeQuincy, Louisiana to be able to assist in the most-impacted areas of Louisiana;
- Continuing to follow-up on leads for a separate base of operations in the areas of Lake Charles, Louisiana or Orange, Texas;
- Applying for AmeriCorps Disaster Response Teams (A-DRT’S) and National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC) to join us once we have suitable housing established, and working with non-residential local volunteers;
- Developing the tarping scope of work and training to enable teams to assist the hundreds of families that have homes with roof damage.