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Hope Force Hurricane Ida Response Continues. You Are Needed!

September 6, 2021 – Situation Report #2    

Hurricane Ida made landfall at 11:55 AM CDT Sunday, August 30 as a high-end, Category-4 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 150 mph. The storm moved ashore near Port Fourchon, Louisiana, mangling everything in its path — and devastating Houma, Louisiana — including all the communities in the parish of Terrebonne.  Approximately 100,000 people have been without electricity for over a week in Houma, and it could be several more weeks before electricity is fully restored. Close to a million residents lost power across Louisiana and Mississippi.

As you drive through Houma, power poles and lines lay mangled or tottering on the ground. No power means gas stations are limited and no air conditioning for residents to catch a break from the Louisiana heat and humidity. The stations with fuel have cars lined up for blocks. Virtually every roof in Houma has damage.  As afternoon rains come, the area homes take on more water through their leaky roofs — flooding from the roof down.

Hope Force arrived in the area within 24 hours of landfall and has focused relief efforts on tarping roofs. This one important act of kindness can provide security against further water damage and allow for the “healing”, restorative process to begin in impacted homes.  Homeowners are noticeably more at peace when this is accomplished.  The list of residents that need help is quickly outpacing capacity.  So much remains to be done.

Recent recipients of a tarped roof, Nat and Ruth, were overwhelmed with joy when a Hope Force team showed up to tarp their roof on Saturday. Disaster Services Director, Joey Stoltzfus, and responders from Crossroads Church in Ohio, met them while canvasing neighborhoods on Friday.  As the team was finishing the tarp job, Ruth pulled Joey aside and with tears of joy in her eyes said, “Nat has been praying and fasting for days that someone would come to tarp our roof!” Encounters like this make all the hot, humid (103 degree heat index)…demanding work worth every drop of sweat…every sore muscle.

With Nat and Ruth’s home completed, the Hope Force team began tarping the house across the street.  By early afternoon, heavy rains moved into the area.  The team looked over their shoulders to see Nat and Ruth’s home, and watched as the rain ran off the roof…another successful job! 

Please pray for the community, the survivors, and the Hope Force team on the ground working in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida. This type of work isn’t for everyone, but what about you? Would you consider joining us in Houma, serving homeowners and the residents who are so deeply impacted by Hurricane Ida?  Numerous tasks are required to sustain relief efforts.  Debris clean up, food prep, skilled photography, light carpentry and other jobs are plentiful.  Perhaps most importantly, a willing heart — prepared to endure the climate of southern Louisiana — and a desire to put the love of God into compassionate action on behalf of those who need help and hope. 

Also, would you consider giving toward our efforts as we continue to serve those who have experienced such great loss?  We are truly grateful for each and every one of you who have already given.  We could not do this work without you!

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