SOUTHWEST LOUISIANA'S HURRICANE DEVASTATED RESIDENTS NOW HIT WITH HISTORIC FLOODING

May 21, 2021, by Tami

United Way of Southwest Louisiana Coordinating Organizations and Supplies for Flooded Homes in Area Hit by Fourth Natural Disaster in One Year

LAKE CHARLES, LA, May 21 – United Way of Southwest Louisiana’s five-parish area has been the epicenter of four federally declared disasters in less than a year. Rainfall on Monday, May 17th was more than both Hurricanes Laura and Delta brought last year and has continued all week. Coordination of volunteer groups and donated supplies is taking place in order to address homes that were still damaged as a result of Hurricanes Laura and Delta along with Winter Storm Uri. Donations of cleaning supplies, building materials and volunteers for cleanup are an urgent need. Interested organizations, businesses and individuals can contact United Way of Southwest Louisiana.

“Recovery from four natural disasters in less than a year will take more than what we locally have to offer at this time,” explains Denise Durel, President and CEO of United Way of Southwest Louisiana. “Many homes still have a blue plastic tarp covering their roof as they wait for the shortage of shingles and labor to catch up with them. The unbelievable amount of rain just on Monday alone has forced families to seek out new shelter which we have a shortage of. I would love to bring some positive news to our exhausted friends and neighbors down here on the Louisiana coast. I think some people feel we’ve been forgotten.”

United Way of Southwest Louisiana is coordinating with other volunteer groups, faith-based organizations, HHS, FEMA and the CDC in order to ensure there are no duplications of service. An organization with the capabilities and supplies necessary to assist the property owner will be assigned. The organizations are prepared for debris cleanup, mucking and gutting of flooded homes or tree removal.

United Way of Southwest Louisiana recently assisted over 500 families with new furniture donated by a major national retailer. Over 180 tons of couches, dining tables and beds were distributed to A.L.I.C.E. (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) community members via a casework system. Prior to the pandemic and storms, 50% of the community were struggling to make ends meet according to ALICE data.

Requests for assistance are done by dialing 211. Specialists at the United Way of Southwest Louisiana resource hotline, 211, can help residents apply online.

Individuals or groups that wish to join this volunteer-led effort can see unitedwayswla.org/volunteer or text VOLUNTEERSWLA to 41444.

Organizations wishing to donate cleaning supplies or other gifts to the process can see unitedwayswla.org/donations to coordinate delivery of items.

Financial gifts for long-term recovery of families disrupted by the hurricanes or flooding can be done online at unitedwayswla.org/donate or by texting READYSWLA to 41444.

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About United Way of Southwest Louisiana

United Way of Southwest Louisiana is an authority on recognizing, measuring and mobilizing the resources to target community needs in Southwest Louisiana with a focus on four pillars: Education, Economic Mobility, Health and Basic Needs. For 81 years, we have supported efforts in Allen, Beauregard, Calcasieu, Cameron and Jeff Davis Parish that improve the quality of life for all residents.