After a two-day drive, a NECHAMA assessment team arrived in Louisiana yesterday afternoon. The team joined forces with an IOCC (International Orthodox Christian Church) assessment team. In the upcoming week, they will work to identify a location to establish a base camp that will allow volunteers to join them in the field. They are staying in the St. Charles Parish area, where there is currently a nightly curfew. Due to slow restocking, stores are only open for select hours during the day, and have very limited stock.

Upon arrival at their lodging, the team found a neighbor in need in New Orleans. As a result of Hurricane Ida’s strong winds, a massive tree from a neighboring property had fallen into Peggy’s backyard. Once standing tall in her neighbor’s yard, the tree now stretched across Peggy’s yard and the yards of three of her neighbors. It’s massive branches destroyed Peggy’s shed and it demolished sections of fence lining Peggy’s yard. Furthermore, the tree fell across the back entrance of Peggy’s house, preventing her from using it to access her house.

As of yesterday afternoon, power was restored to her neighborhood. Peggy’s daughter, a police officer with the New Orleans police department, and her son-in-law, employed with the local water and waste management company, were at the house when the teams arrived. Both employed in essential services, yesterday was the first day they could begin to help Peggy clear the tree from her yard.

NECHAMA and IOCC teams will spend the rest of the week working to cut the tree into smaller sections. They will be assessing damage in St. Charles Parish and surrounding communities. Over the weekend, a team from All Hands and Hearts will join to assist in removing pieces of the large tree from the yard of Peggy and her neighbors. Once again, Peggy will be able to access her house through the back door.

Interested in joining our team in Louisiana? Follow this link to sign up as a volunteer. Once our base housing is established, a NECHAMA representative will reach out to you with further details on what to expect.

Interested in supporting our work? Click here to donate or start a fundraiser today!

Be sure to check back for updates on our Hurricane Ida response!