Update: February 2017
2016 brought two major flooding events to Louisiana; some areas were hard hit both times. World Renew has conducted needs assessments in several communities and in Livingston Parish, in particular, more than 1,400 individuals or families met with our team (this is a record high number). The needs quickly became very evident. For example, we met with one gentleman who is living in a shed because his home was destroyed. The recovery group in Livingston Parish now knows who in their community needs what type of help and is working hard to secure resources to help their neighbors. World Renew continues to work with Livingston Parish and other communities as recovery progresses.
Detroit, Michigan was hit with flooding in 2016 and World Renew is sending week-long mission trips to help with rebuilding. The 2016 flood happened while some areas were (and still are) in the midst of recovering from major flooding in 2014.
Volunteers are also rebuilding homes in West Virginia after June 2016 flooding.
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“Massive flooding in Louisiana over the weekend of August 13, 2016, hit areas that were already underwater in March. Unbelievably, last weekend’s flooding was even worse than the unprecedented, historic disaster Louisiana residents experienced last spring,” said Len and Carrie Blaukamp, regional managers for World Renew Disaster Response Services (DRS) in a response to the March – and now August’s floods. (Read more about our response here)
Earlier in the year, unseasonable tornadoes sprang up from Illinois to Texas and Alabama during the last week of 2015, and Winter Storm Goliath spilled massive flooding into 2016 (click here to read more about our response). The heavy rain caused the Mississippi River to crest at 15 feet above flood stage in some areas in January 2016. Homes and towns in the path of massive flooding from 16 breached levees were evacuated.
Shortly after the disasters, regional managers from World Renew Disaster Response Services (DRS) spent time in Texas, Mississippi, Illinois, and Missouri assessing the damage, offering assistance, and organizing with officials and other responders.
In early June, more flooding impacted already saturated areas in Texas. Later that month, World Renew regional managers met with more than a dozen flood-affected communities throughout Louisiana, Missouri, and Texas, offering services, and planning for a long-term response.
West Virginia experienced massive flooding after heavy rains on June 22. Volunteers provided clean-up services for two weeks in July. Regional managers connected with partner organizations as well as state and local officials within 24 hours of the flooding and will be setting the stage to assist communities in the months to come.
Unmet needs assessments took place in Missouri and Mississippi during the summer of 2016, and as of August, more are being planned.
World Renew DRS continues to help homeowners and communities affected by the storms, offering unmet needs assessments, capacity-building training, reconstruction, and other services. The recovery efforts are still in the early stages and you can support and care for survivors in Christ’s name by donating to North American Disasters 2016.
To learn more about the services World Renew DRS provides and to volunteer, please visit worldrenew.net/drs.