Westwego, LA - Survivors of Hurricane Ida's devastation in St. Charles Parish, are slowly beginning to assess damage to their homes, businesses, and property. Utility crews worked tirelessly to restore power to many of the residents, with about 10,000 people living and working in heavily damaged areas still without power. Street after street. Subdivision after subdivision. Community after Community. Roofs are blanketed with bright blue tarps, while twisted aluminum and crushed metal sits patiently in front yards and curbside until storm debris is removed.
There are those who chose to stay for Hurricane Ida, just as they did during hurricanes Katrina, Issac, Laura and Zeta. "You have to have money to leave," said one Parish resident who asked not to be identified. "It takes money-the gas to keep driving, the hotels, the meals, the clothing, and all of that on top of your regular expenses. And, then you do it over again to come home to what; you never know what is left until you come back home."
Weeks after Hurricane Ida ripped through this area, 'home' is threatened once again by heavy rains and flooding from Tropical Storm Nicholas. The Salvation Army's Alabama-Louisiana-Mississippi Division has Emergency Disaster Services crews in St. Charles Parish, providing relief support through it all. Crews have continued to serve through sweltering heat and humidity, and steady downpours of rain, bringing help to those affected, and inspiring a spirit of service in others.
As Deborah Kuylen and her daughter, Nicole, drove away from the canteen tucked in a Family Dollar parking lot in Westwego, Nicole asked, "How can I volunteer? This is my community, we see what you do and we both want to help." The spirit of #DoingTheMostGood, is also #InspiringTheMostGood.