(ANTIMEDIA) Baton Rouge, La – Over 30,000 people were rescued from their homes this week as torrential downpours caused massive flooding in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. So far, the disaster has claimed eleven lives and destroyed over 40,000 homes, leaving some areas completely devastated. Over 8,000 residents remain in emergency shelters with dwindling food and supplies. The National Weather Service has called the flooding a “1,000-year” disaster.
Relief efforts are underway, with volunteers traveling from all over the country to assist the victims of the flooding. Fundraisers are being set up to aid in rebuilding what has been destroyed, but much more help is needed. A representative from the Red Cross announced they are “mounting a massive relief operation, which we anticipate will cost at least $30 million and that number may grow as we learn more about the scope and magnitude of the devastation.”
Thirty parishes were declared disaster areas after a record four trillion gallons of rain fell over Baton Rouge in just 48 hours. Tom, a resident of Baton Rouge who called into Anti-Media radio on Tuesday, described how quickly the water level rose. “[A] lot of people were still on the roads and trapped with water ahead of them and behind them. One of the major rescue issues was getting a thousand people off the interstate from flooded vehicles,” he said.
A huge blow to the relief efforts came with the flooding of the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank. The facility was inundated with four feet of water on Sunday, and a staggering 500 pounds of food were destroyed — including the food that was to be distributed to shelters to feed thousands of displaced residents. The food bank is in desperate need of donations. Click here to help.
Many schools, churches, and other buildings that would normally be used as shelters were also flooded, but luckily, Celtic Studios opened their doors to thousands of evacuees, transforming their movie and production studios into a safe place for many families in need.
On a smaller scale, many families who were able to remain in their homes have taken people in, as well. Leslie Emden just had a baby, but that has not stopped her from doing everything she can to help. She has not only opened her home to another family and allowed them to use her vehicle, but is also actively involved with organizing flood relief and babysitting for those spending countless hours helping in the shelters.
Christie Faucheux, another resident affected by the devastation, is working with Gabby Higgins, owner of Brew Ha Ha cafe, to organize and distribute supplies received. She set up an Amazon Wish List on behalf of residents of the community to make it easy for others to donate. Virginia Aucoin, a realtor located in Louisiana, has offered her services to the victims free of charge.
BREC, the East Baton Rouge Parks and Recreation commission, is opening five emergency camps so children have somewhere to go while their parents go to work.
While communities are coming together to do everything they can, much more help is needed. Shelters are still full of thousands of people in need of clean water, food, and countless other supplies. Below is a list of organizations accepting donations. Every little bit helps. Our hearts go out to everyone in Baton Rouge affected by this disaster and everyone contributing to the relief efforts.
Baton Rouge Area Foundation – “The Foundation will send staff members across South Louisiana to find where needs are the greatest. Our research will ensure that your donations go quickly and directly to nonprofits that are doing the most for people who call Louisiana home.”
Foundation for the East Baton Rouge – “A gift made to the Foundation for East Baton Rouge School System will be used to support teachers and schools create a positive learning environment during the clean up and recovery.”
Second Harvest Food Bank – “In the process of distributing thousands of pounds of food, water, and supplies to flood victims.”
Zeta Phi Beta Sorority – “The ladies of the Rho Epsilon chapter of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. at LSU would like your help to raise funds for families and students in the Baton Rouge area who have been sadly affected by the recent flooding.”
Animal Rescue of New Orleans – Please contact if you are able to adopt or foster one of the many dogs and cats left without a home in the wake of the Baton Rouge flooding.
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