As Louisiana Flood Waters Recede, Hoosier Red Cross Volunteers Stay Behind
As Louisiana dries out after heavy rains left parts of the state flooded earlier this month, hundreds of Red Cross employees—including some from Indiana—are down south helping with relief efforts.
Retired Lafayette firefighter David Fagan responded to a Red Cross call for relief workers a little more than a week ago.
He and another area volunteer are now in Livingston Parish, an area east of Baton Rouge and one of the parts of the state with the heaviest flooding.
Fagan has been driving a van, equipped as a mobile kitchen, around flooded neighborhoods.
“We drive around, make an announcement on our PA system—‘Red Cross Indiana, we have hot foods, come up and get it’—and people will come out of their homes and come up to their window," he said. “We spoon it out and hand it to ‘em.”
Fagan said even though the floods have been receding, leaving waterlines eight feet above the ground, people’s houses have needed to be gutted of their now-defunct appliances.
“A lot of the places have their power back, but they’re still cleaning up their homes,” he said. He explained, hot food has become a luxury.
“There’s no furniture, there’s no microwaves, they’re all out in the street, it’s like you’re building a brand-new home, it’s like stripping the home.”
Southern Baptist Convention disaster relief workers supply the food Fagan delivers—mostly cafeteria-style Salisbury steak, hamburgers, and fruit cocktail.
The Red Cross says relief efforts could cost $30 million. An estimated 60,000 homes were damaged in the so-called “thousand-year” flood.
Fagan says he to stay through next week.