BATON ROUGE, LOUISIANA—As deadly flooding rains destroyed lives and property last month in Louisiana, the state is only now starting to recover. Nearly 265,000 children have been out of school, with most districts starting again last week. Insurance experts AIR Worldwide estimates that industry ground-up insurable losses from the flooding in Louisiana caused by excessive rainfall will be between $8.5 billion and $11 billion. As many flooded areas were not in “high flood risk areas,” most affected homeowners did not have flood coverage.
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.
CGR President Abraham Shepherd shares, “Canadian Global Response volunteer expertise is needed in the flood recovery in Louisiana. Canadian volunteers understand what needs to be done, as CGR responded to the Alberta floods in 2013. The difference here, having been in LA several times myself, is that you can see poverty! And thus, when a crisis hits, it quickly becomes a disaster! As a poor community, they don’t have the resiliency in a crisis like this.”
“Let’s show Canadian generosity to people in need in North America, especially to the victims of Louisiana flooding!”
A group of CGR volunteers from Edmonton, Alberta travelled to Baton Rouge to distribute aid already received, and help with the recovery efforts.
While in Louisiana, Jason Shine stated: “There is a need to help thousands of homeowners with homes that have massive damage with three, four, even eight feet of water in them. You can make a difference! With some basic tools and a few minutes of training you can tear out soggy drywall that needs to come out. And many of these people don’t have flood insurance, so they need your resources, your time, your money, and your prayers.”
Gabriel Chan, a student from the University of Alberta, said about his experience, “We went to a total of four houses. We mainly tore out moldy dry wall, any flooring that wasn’t tile cemented into the floor, appliances, toilets, bathtubs, and basically anything that wasn’t the two-by-four wooden planks holding the roof up. Some houses had six feet of water, while others two to three. Throughout our work it was fairly obvious where the water line was.”
“The work we did was rewarding, but was nothing compared to talking to the home owners there and hearing their experience of the flood. It’s hard to imagine going through that kind of disaster. This experience makes me want to be apart of any disaster relief efforts in the future!”
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.
Volunteer opportunities also exist throughout the recovery process, with cleanup teams being called upon. 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
Jason Shine / Own work based on the Louisiana Locator Map / August 30, 2016 / Used with permission