BATON ROUGE, LOUISIANA—Flash floods in Louisiana over the past two weeks have claimed the lives of thirteen and forced 30,000 residents to evacuate in what Governor John Bel Edwards called a “historic, unprecedented flooding event.” A state of emergency remains as twenty Louisiana parishes (counties) are designated as federal disaster areas, with President Obama declaring the need to, “utilize all resources available to assist in the response and recovery.”
Many agencies are describing the flooding as the worst American disaster since Hurricane Sandy in 2012, after the storm system dropped three times as much rain on Louisiana as Hurricane Katrina.
Thousands of homeowners are without flood insurance as reports of over 20 inches (510 mm) of rain burst the banks of the Amite and Comite waterways.
Residents that are returning in the immediate aftermath are finding it difficult to find salvageable belongings.
Local homeowner Nathan Teaford shared on CNN, “There’s areas that are not in a flood plain. They’ve never required flood insurance and never thought that something like this would happen because they were above elevation.” At least 40,000 homes have been damaged, while the scope of the overall disaster remains uncalculated.
Near Baton Rouge in South Louisiana, Canadian Global Response’s partners have been assisting since the start of the flooding. Volunteers are actively assisting survivors with water, meals, and trauma counselling as immediate, tangible needs are addressed.
Canadian volunteers are also being requested, with a CGR representative already on site who is distributing aid received through our generous donors, and assessing how CGR volunteers can be best used.
You can also help those impacted by the flooding by providing hope through the donation link below. Please consider making a financial difference that will be used to purchase basic necessities for survivors and help in the relief process.
Volunteer opportunities also exist as the disaster shifts from an emergency phase to recovery period, and cleanup teams will be called upon in the weeks to come. We are requesting potential volunteers to contact the office by email or phone. Further service opportunities and information about disaster relief efforts in Louisiana will be made available as soon as possible.
Photos: Melissa Leake / Baton Rouge, LA / August 15, 2016 / CC license, Wikipedia
William Casey / Own work based on the Louisiana Locator Map / August 18, 2016 / CC license, Wikipedia