A federal disaster declaration has been issued for over 20 parishes in the state of Louisiana. These historic floods that have even inundated areas that don't normally flood, have been caused by river and bayou overflow and constant heavy downpours. Latest reports indicate that around 30,000 homes and businesses have been destroyed and at least 200,000 people displaced in shelters, hotels, or living with relatives. There are 11 people identified as dead, but several who are still missing. Currently, there is a curfew in affected areas (10:00 p.m. - 6:00 a.m.) for fear and prevention of looting. The victims have been urged by the state government to apply for FEMA Disaster services.
The Greater New Orleans and other Adventist Churches have donated clothing to the New Orleans Sheriff Department, led by Sheriff Marlin Gusman, Sr. The Southwest Region Conference ACS DR Team, led by Coordinator Irene Williams, has picked up food items, pampers, personal hygiene supplies, bed linen, adult disposable diapers, etc. Many of these items are being brought to the Westbank Seventh-day Adventist Church located in New Orleans, which will then be brought to the Berean Seventh-day Adventist Church for distribution. Westbank Church has purchased a bus and is waiting for its approval to transport the donated items from Berean Church to Baton Rouge. There are plans underway of a Warehouse operation in Baton Rouge. Assistance would be needed in unloading, stocking, and distributing the donated goods. There are also inquiries as to living quarters for volunteers who may be coming in to assist.
Items for donation include: baby clothes and supplies, disposable diapers for children and adults, bottled water, non- perishable food items, slightly used and new clothing, brand new underwear, shoes and socks, brand new flip-flops, cleaning supplies, bed linen/towels, school supplies, and etc. Monetary donations are also accepted at www.mysouthwestregion.org.