Congregations respond to need in flood-ravaged Louisiana
In mid-August, Louisiana experienced what the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration deemed a "500-year flood.” Over 60,000 homes across the state were flooded and thirteen people killed. More than 7.1 trillion gallons of rain (over three times what was received during Hurricane Katrina) pummeled Louisiana between August 8 and 14. Over 20,000 people had to be taken to safety, along with over a thousand pets. More than 110,000 homes and 100,000 cars were damaged.
Congregations in the Central Gulf Coast have responded in many ways. Several parishes including, St. Paul’s, Daphne, and St. Paul’s, Foley, have taken materials to affected areas in Louisiana. Immanuel, Bay Minette; St. Andrew’s, Panama City; Nativity, Dothan; and St. John’s, Mobile, were among the congregations than had appeals for the Episcopal Relief & Development Disaster Fund, Louisiana Floods.
The Rev. Thack Dyson of St. Paul’s, Daphne, and members of his congregation have been to the Baton Rogue area several times. Dyson found Denham Springs, Louisiana, to be “in terrible condition. Every building in town received several feet of water.” Dyson also said that it is important that volunteers go with a group that is working or has ties to relief organization in Louisiana.
Deacon Elaine Clements, Disaster Coordinator for the Diocese of Louisiana, had similar comments. “People here are getting tired and we are at the beginning of a very long clean-up and recovery. We encourage people to come as mission teams. Get more information at http://www.edola.org/flood-relief/volunteers.”
The Diocese of Louisiana has received two emergency assistance grants from Episcopal Relief and Development so churches in the flood area can assist the most vulnerable people in their communities. A nationwide campaign has been launched to raise more funds for Gulf Coast flood relief. Please consider making a donation to Episcopal Relief and Development to support this important work. http://www.episcopalrelief.org/us-disaster-fund
Bishop Kendrick noted how many have responded to the recent needs in the Central Gulf Coast and said it is our time to respond. Please pray as the recovery efforts continue, and be generous with your time and talent.