The water is almost gone, but the Baton Rouge flood victims still need help. The catastropic floods in August left 14 people dead and thousands of homes damaged and destroyed. Two months, $30 million and 1.6 million cubic yards of trash later, debris cleanup from the August flood in the Baton Rouge area is beginning to wind down, but flood victims still need help. Officials estimate the August flood caused more than $8 billion in damage.
Congress gave Louisiana $438 million in flood recovery funds last month, which is unfortunately not nearly enough to rebuild the affected communities. Leaders say they hope the flood recovery funds will be supplemented by several billion more in federal assistance. In addition, the Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center is planning to give $200,000 in grants to faith-based and nonprofit organizations that have been helping low-income and other vulnerable populations, including the elderly and disabled, recover from the floods. Getting people back in their homes and reopening schools is a priority at this time.
Other organizations are also doing what they can to help. The Urban League of Louisiana, formerly the Urban League of Greater New Orleans, teamed with state Rep. Ted James, D-Baton Rouge, and the Louisiana Workforce Commission open the Red Stick Retail Shop. Five vacant spaces at the Cortana Mall were temporarily transformed to create the store, which offers free new clothing to thousands in the Baton Rouge area whose wardrobes were depleted from the flood. Two national clothing charities, K.I.D.S and Fashion Delivers, spent the past two months amassing an estimated $4 million worth of merchandise donated by 26 retailers and clothing companies across the country. Skechers is one of the larger footwear donors to the Red Stick Retail Shop.
WHAT CAN YOU DO TO HELP?
The Louisiana Flood Recovery website lists ways to volunteer and donate with contact information.