Local efforts underway to assist Hurricane Laura victims

View The Original Article Here

Thursday morning, Samaritan’s Purse deployed staff and a Disaster Relief Unit filled with supplies and equipment to Lake Charles, La., one of the hardest hit areas from Hurricane Laura.

Donald Hodge has family near Lake Charles. He said it was a difficult 24 hours. Hodge’s family decided to stay home and ride out Hurricane Laura.

All eyes were on the hurricane as it ripped through parts of Louisiana and Texas, killing several and leaving behind massive destruction.

“It was very nerve wracking to stay up through the night. I got some sleep, until finally this morning we got the all clear around seven that everyone had made it,” said Hodge.

Bruce Poss, the director of Samaritan’s Purse, said a truck full of supplies is now on its way to Lake Charles to help victims like Hodge’s family.

“Many of them evacuated, but they’re getting back in, so we’re getting good on the ground reports as our staff is traveling in,” said Poss.

Hodge said he’s been in close contact with his family these past few days. Based off of pictures his mom sent him — the damage looks extensive.

“[It’s] mostly wind damage, lots of trees down, power lines down, massive power outages,” he described.

Samaritan’s Purse will help with downed tree and temporary roof repairs to help property owners avoid further water damage. But, volunteers will face a new challenge with the coronavirus pandemic.

“We’re asking volunteers to test [for coronavirus]. We’re testing our staff, just to be cautious with bringing someone in that may have COVID,” said Poss.

Testing can be difficult since they deploy volunteers from all across the county.

“It’s an extra step and a little bit of a hardship. We’re trying to gather only 10 people per group so that we’re not having too many people in once place,” said Poss.

Once Samaritan’s Purse staff arrives in Louisiana they’ll be able to determine how many volunteers they’ll need.

With the coronavirus pandemic, they want to make sure they only send the volunteers they need.