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June 16th

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Hurricane Isaac: Update and Aftermath

(Times-Picayune)

Now that Hurricane Isaac has been downgraded to a tropical depression, we are getting a clearer picture of what has been left in its wake.

We know that the slow-moving storm has flooded stretches of the state – in suburbs like LaPlace and Slidell Louisiana, where some families who had moved from New Orleans after Katrina found they had escaped one flood zone only to find another.

Flash flooding caused the evacuation of residents in several suburban neighborhoods that were left underwater after Isaac dumped up to 16 inches of rain. Some 500 people had to be rescued by boat or high-water vehicles, and the storm cut power to about 47 per cent of the state. That was down to 39 percent by Thursday evening, according to the Public Service Commission.

In Plaquemines Parish, crews intentionally breached a levee that was strained by Isaac’s floodwaters.  Tens of thousands of residents in Tangipahoa Parish were ordered to leave because of fears that a dam might fail.

It will be a few days before the water in these flooded areas recedes and people can return home. New Orleans itself was spared, thanks to new floodgates, super-sized levees and powerful pumps that did exactly what they were supposed to do.

What Now?

A message to volunteers from the Dept. of Homeland Security Center of the White House Office of Faith-based & Neighborhood Partnerships,has stressed that to “prevent unsolicited donations and spontaneous unaffiliated volunteers from overwhelming communities affected by Hurricane Isaac,” financial contributions to agencies to purchase needed items is the best way to help. They emphasized that collecting goods (such as clothing, household items, and food) is best handled by well-funded voluntary agencies and not through the expensive process of collecting, sorting, packaging, transporting, receiving, etc.

LSSDR remains committed to helping meet the immediate unmet needs of the displaced residents as they become known, as well as aiding in the long-term recovery efforts of the communities that suffered the greatest damage. We will work side-by-side with our government agency and other faith-based partners as we proceed.

Please continue to keep Louisiana’s affected residents and responders in your prayers, and consider helping Isaac’s survivors with an online donation that will allow us to respond quickly to changing needs and reach out to those who have suffered loss and destruction. If you would like additional information about LSSDR’s disaster relief operations, please go to our website, www.lssdisasterresponse.org.

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