Hurricane Ida left Louisiana a mess with an estimated $50 billion in property damage. Georgia Baptists are in Amite City helping residents clean up. (Photo/Entergy New Orleans)
By ROGER ALFORD
The Christian Index
AMITE CITY, La. – Georgia Baptist Disaster Relief volunteers are on the ground in Amite City helping the small town’s 4,400 residents recover from a devastating blow from Hurricane Ida that caused some $50 billion in damages and killed at least six people.
The first Disaster Relief units arrived in Amite City on Wednesday. More were on their way on Thursday pulling trailers filled with tools, including chainsaws needed to remove fallen trees, and were expected in town by midafternoon.
Ricky Thrasher, head of Georgia Baptist Disaster Relief, said the volunteers are bent on getting the lives of victims back to normal as quickly as possible.
“We have more than 7,000 Disaster Relief volunteers in Georgia,” Thrasher said. “These are people who serve on chainsaw brigades to remove fallen trees, mud-out teams to remove mud from flood-damaged homes, feeding units to prepare food for victims and volunteers, childcare workers, chaplains, laundry units, shower units, just about whatever is needed to help get these victims of Hurricane Ida back on their feet.”
With winds clocked at 150 mph, Ida tied for the fifth-strongest hurricane ever to hit the continental U.S. The storm caused widespread property damage and left more than 1 million homes and businesses without electricity.
Crews were still clearing trees from roadways on Wednesday. Some low-lying communities remain under water.
Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards said electrical service had been restored for a handful of customers, though the vast majority still were in the dark. Still, Edwards said, it’s important to show some progress.
“I’m very mindful that it’s a start and only a start,” he told reporters.
Thrasher said the Georgia Baptist crews will do their part to help victims clean up.
“Our volunteers have servant hearts,” he said. “Where they see a need, they gladly respond. Over the years, they’ve served just about everywhere disasters have struck. That means all over the U.S. and in many parts of the world.”
Thrasher said he also knows that all Georgia Baptists will be eager to help.
“Experience has shown that the best way our churches can help is by providing financial support through the Georgia Baptist Mission Board,” he said. “So often, literal mountains of clothing and similar goods are sent to disaster areas that simply go to waste. If churches provide financial support instead, victims can purchase what they need when they need it.
To give to the Georgia Baptist’s hurricane relief effort, go to: https://gabaptist.org/disasterrelief/ and click on the giving link at the top of the page.